A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest– and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man – Proverbs 6:10 -11
This is one very popular verse in the Bible, quoted by a lot of people to remind
Christians not to be lazy. The high rate of unemployment in Ghana is real; a lot of people complete college and finding a job becomes a nightmare. To find any job as a graduate from the university is a prayer answered. What are some of the attitudes we put up when God provides us with a job? Let’s be frank, what will you do in the following instances –
You have prayed for a job and money and you now have both. You were sent on an assignment and have been provided with some amount of money. You did not use all the money you were given, will you bring the money back to the company or keep it?
You find yourself in a work environment where about three quarters of the workers are unbelievers, will you quit the job or what?
You have a job which prevents you from attending church service on Sundays. You have stayed in the house for such a long time and your current employees were the only ones who contacted you and offered you this job. What will your do?
What if you job allows you to promote all the things the Bible speaks against – pre-marital sex/adultery, alcohol, drugs, lottery etc.
You are the leader of a group in church. Your pastor needs you immediately. Your boss is a non-christian and has given something to do which is not too pressing. What will you do?
We would really, really love to know what your reactions would be in these instances. Please comment directly on the blog. Thanks 🙂
There are some truths about the faith that are hidden from most people. They begin to worship God and after some time they get frustrated because they feel Christianity is difficult. These lies are simple but yet, they can cause people to backslide. Below are examples of such misconceptions.
Everyone has their conception of what Christianity is or what it ought to be. We believe Christianity is not just any religion but a relationship with the creator which needs to be built over time. It is believing your life is not yours to live but you being accountable to your creator. It is consciously renewing this belief and building your relationship with the Holy Spirit as well.
There are some truths about the faith that are hidden from most people. Such people accept the faith, they begin to worship God and after some time they get frustrated because they feel Christianity is difficult. These deceptions are simple but yet, they have the ability to cause people to backslide. Below are examples of such misconceptions:
Christianity means your life is free of challenges
This is one of the first misconceptions about the faith. The Bible in James 1: 2 mentions that we should count it joy when we meet trials of various kinds for we know that the testing of our faith produces steadfastness. This implies that our Christian walk is not trial-free. Each day comes with a new challenge but if we know that God’s mercies are new each day, we will not be afraid when dawn breaks but rather we would be excited knowing that our God has everything under control. Even when the challenges come we will smile at them, like Jesus in the boat with his disciples during the storm, we will only speak and the storm will be calm – Matthew 8:23.
Christianity means you should not work hard
Jesus Christ performed miracles in his ministry. The woman with the issue of the blood had to make an effort to touch the garment of Jesus and that was when power was released from him to heal the woman – Matthew 9:20.
Even for a miracle to take place, there had to be an effort on the part of the woman. This proves that miracles can happen when we also make an effort. Do not sleep and expect to be rich. Unbelievers will keep running the affairs of the world if we pray without working hard. Spend some time to pray and also some time to work hard; this is the only way we can succeed in the faith.
Christianity means it is easy to have faith
This is one of the easiest means of getting hold of our miracles – having faith. The Bible mentions that if we have faith as small as a mustard seed, we can say to a mountain that it should move into the sea and that mountain will obey our voice (Luke 11:6). There are challenges that we see each day, the only thing we need to do is to speak to them and they will obey but why haven’t we been able to do that? This is because building faith is something we need to do each day. It does not come easily but it is possible. We can start with the little things in our lives, soon we will be able to tell the huge things to vanish and yes, they will obey us.
Are there any misconceptions you knew before becoming a Christian? Share them with us.
How many of us agree that the Christian walk is not as easy. Even Paul admits in 2 Corinthians 4:8 that we are tempted on every side but are not crushed. Each day we are faced with different trials which are supposed strengthens us, according to the Bible and the only way we can face each day and battle is by using the appropriate scriptures, that is the only way we can reassure ourselves of God promises for our lives. Today, I am sharing five scriptures which always encourage me whenever I am faced with challenges of the day. As usual, you can also share those that inspire you.
Scripture 1: Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans and thoughts that I think towards you. They are thoughts of good and not evil. They are thoughts to give hope and a future.
Scripture 2: Isaiah 40:31
Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount on wings like eagle. They shall run and not be weary they shall walk and not grow faint.
Scripture 3: Psalm 23:1
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. Scripture 4: Mathew 19:26
With man, this is impossible but with God, all things are possible.
Scripture 5: Philippians 4:6
Be anxious for nothing but in everything with prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your request be known to God and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
When I was much younger, I had wanted to grow up quickly so I would take my own decisions. I loved to pray and my requests were mostly centered on my growth process. I imagined by the time I turned thirty, I would be married, have the best job and probably be driving the best car and have the whole world under my feet.
Now, I am very grown and I take my own decisions which aren’t too bad but I see life to be a complicated process. Things do not always go the way we want them. I used to imagine there would be a period in my life where I wouldn’t have to spend so much time praying because all my requests would be answered. I know there are people like me who feel they would get to such points in their lives but I doubt that will ever happen. Maybe when we die, we would stop praying 😉
Life is a little bit different from what I had imagined some years back. I have accepted that I cannot stop praying. I have also accepted that not all my requests are in line with God’s promises. My newest policy is to take each day as and when it comes. What keeps me going now is not what I have achieved or what I will ever achieve but I am excited to be alive each day. I have joy not because I drive the best car(I do not even drive) 🙂 nor do I work at some international company receiving dollars at the end of the month 🙂 but I know I am living my purpose. I proclaim God’s word whenever the opportunity presents itself and I pray each time to ensure I am aligned to His purpose for my life and if I die today, I know I would have contributed to winning souls for God’s kingdom. I believe that is the most important thing in this life.
What is the most important thing to you now? We would like you to share that with us!
For the past couple of weeks, we have been describing various ways of building relationships. While we build them up, it is important to keep in mind that there are certain actions that can also kill these relationships. Below are five such killers:
1. Introducing your partner to everyone in the early stages: In their excitement, a number of couples announce their relationships too quickly to the world which isn’t a bad idea but the best thing to do is to build the foundations properly before introducing yourselves to friends, family, work colleagues, etc. The more you introduce third parties, the more you open the relationship to varied opinions which may be contrary to what you saw in each other. You may second guess and that could be disastrous for your relationship.
2. Announcing on social media: One of the deadliest actions which kills relationships is this. We know we must have faith as Christians but changing your relationship status or the display or profile photos to your partner’s does nothing but attract attention to you and your partner. What if you announce on social media and the relationship does not go as planned? As much as possible, let us keep our relationships to ourselves. They are private and not meant for the world.
3. Avoiding early warnings: Most of the time when we fall in love, our brains go on vacation 🙂 We avoid all the signs and allow our hearts to lead us. This guy is not generous; everything he acquires is for him. The lady spends all the money she acquires on clothes and make-up. You know you would have preferred the opposite but you are allowing your heart to lead you. These signs develop to something different and they kill relationships.
4. Not investing in the relationship: Building a relationship requires time, money and creativity. If you know you do not want to invest in any of these then don’t start one. You need to spend time with each other and on each other. The Bible mentions that in Proverbs 21:26 – the righteous gives and does not hold back.
5. Fornication: Most young people quickly give in to sex in the relationship. Guilt from the encounter normally kills what has been developed earlier. Having sex also takes away the innocence of the couple. Sex is addictive; it has the power to take away a lot of things from the relationship including the time that the couple spend discussing and planning for the future. In 1 Corinthians 6:18, the Bible warns, Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body.
Achieving anything good in this life requires effort and dreams can only come true if you make deliberate effort to achieve them. The same theory goes for relationships. In order to build a long lasting relationship with the opposite sex which can lead to marriage, one needs to work hard at it. Every good relationship requires some amount of effort. If you do not have the time, don’t even start a relationship 🙂
How do you begin a relationship with the opposite sex? One which can lead to a relationship? I once had a conversation with a friend at Senior High School where she admonished me to start praying for my future partner. My reaction was, ” ah! how do I pray for someone I do not even know ?” Of course, at that point in my life, all I cared about was passing my exam and making it to college but my friend gave me a different perspective. I think I prayed for my “future” partner a couple of times. Looking back, I guess that was one of the best advice anyone could give to a friend. If you have not met that partner yet, why don’t you start praying for him or her? It is never too early to do that and the Bible says we should pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
Apart from praying for that one, it is important to list the qualities that you wish to see in him/her. Do you not make a list of items you wish to purchase before you go to the market? List all the qualities- physical characteristics, interests, hobbies. Do not forget about the fact that as a Christian you need to select another who shares in your faith. The other factors are only secondary but are equally important. It will prevent you from looking around at other people when you enter into the relationship.
One foundation that is helpful for every relationship is friendship. Friendship is the most crucial factor that can help your relationship progress from one stage to the other. Have regular conversations. Feel free to share your thoughts with each other. Talk about the regular things. When you build up the friendship, you will begin to enjoy each other’s company. You will miss the other person when they are not around. When you are friends, you hardly run out of conversations and the relationship does not get boring. Even when you decide to be quiet around each other, the silence is not uncomfortable. The Bible testifies to that, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29 (ESV).
There are other tips that make a Christian relationship work. Tell us what you wish to see on the list…
Dating. What does this word mean to a Christian in Ghana? Well, in most developed countries, dating or going on a date is doing something fun with the opposite sex but in Ghana, dating is the very first step to getting acquainted with a member of the opposite sex. This is the period that a guy and a lady decide if they are right for each other. Dating may lead to courtship and later, marriage 🙂
During the dating period, a guy and lady discuss everything except marriage plans. The courtship period is when the couple is certain they want to spend the rest of their lives together and start making plans towards marriage. Also, they make their intentions known to their parents. According to renowned counselors, there are no clear-cut timelines for the various stages but to prevent pre-marital sex, it is advised the guy and lady do not court for more than two years (I know people who disagree to this).
How to build a successful relationship
So how do you even start a successful relationship? One which will lead to courtship and then to marriage? Even the Bible establishes that it is not good for a man to be alone, so how do you identify the right person especially if you are a Christian. The first character to look out for in a prospective partner is someone who shares in your faith. The Bible categorically states that believers should not be unequally yoked (2 Corinthians 6:14). That peculiar feeling that you have especially at the beginning of the relationship, the butterflies in the stomach. Yes, that feeling – it fades away. It does after a few months of being with each other. How do you sustain the love if the person does not share the same faith as you?
As Christians, we base our love on 1 Corinthians 13 and not on that weird feeling at the pit of your stomach. People outside the faith have different opinions and beliefs on what love ought to be which is quite different from ours. Never compromise on that – do not allow the stomach flutter to direct you. Fall in love with someone who shares your faith and you will share your testimony with us 🙂
Watch out for other factors that account for successful relationships which lead to marriage.