The Believer; His Health; and Commonsense

I remember how I wrote this post on the spur of the moment. It turned out to be the post with the most engagements and got me encouraged to write more.

As a believer, God wants you to be in perfect health. However, you have to do what’s needful to stay healthy!

I believe it’s content remains valid even today so I thought to share it again. Enjoy!

The Believer; His Health; and Commonsense

1000+ Amazing People! Thank You!!!

A little over a year ago, 500 wonderful folks chose to identify with this blog. I made a post to celebrate them and also share my ‘progress report‘ on this platform.

I’m glad to announce that that number got doubled today. 500 more amazing people have subscribed to this blog.

Folks, we are 1000 people stronger!

For a fellow who doesn’t feel he puts in much effort into blogging activities, this stride means a lot to me and I’m so grateful.

I’m grateful to you all for been a part of my blogging life. I’m grateful for every single likes, comment and reblog. I feel encouraged by your engagements with my blog and every single post.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I don’t think of you as mere stats/figures to boast with. I think of you as individuals with unique abilities, experiences, ideas and worldviews. Each having something valuable to offer.

This platform has availed me the opportunity to

  • Add value to people in my own little way, without any limitation in time and space
  • Connect with good people from different countries of the world
  • Meet and make real/wonderful friends. People I have come to know in person
  • Be a better writer and communicator
  • Partake of the wisdom and rich contents from fellow bloggers…

Thank you once again for your support and contributions. More than ever before, I’ll write, follow up on your posts, share my $2 thoughts and build healthy relationships.

Cheers to more years of adding value 🥂


©IBUKUN

Words!

I used to have a friend who I considered an intelligent and highly creative writer (well, he actually is). The guy rights effortlessly well. Be it fiction or non-fiction, always making sense.

On the other hand, I was a rigid & (struggling) writer. You could call me a good writer as far as constructing meaningful and grammatical sentences was concerned. But no more. My writings usually lacked the flourish/finesse required to make an interesting read. 80% academic & 20% creative.

So each time I wrote a piece I had spent a great deal of effort on and considered quite good for publication, I sent it to him to critique. However, I observed he mostly downplays them: “No substance, lacking in this, devoid of that, bla bla bla. I can’t remember anything positive he ever said about them. And when I ask him to suggest areas of improvement, he merely makes a joke of it and ‘moves on to other matters’.

I remember writing a short story that I was so excited about. I was sure I had done a good job of the storyline, characterization, plot structure and all. I believed it was going to make an interesting read . But alas, when my good friend read it, he couldn’t see any big deal about it.

It turned out to be one of my best work of fiction.

By the way, I minored in literature so I understand what constructive criticism is and I’m all for it. It brings out the best of a writer. But what my friend kept doing was everything but constructive criticism. More like devaluation. I wasn’t looking for someone to rob my ego. Just someone who could point out

I wasn’t looking for someone to rob my ego. Just someone who could point out what I was doing wrong and how I can do it better.
Each time he makes his comment, I become displeased with what I had written and no longer felt enthusiastic about it. All of a sudden, I start to see from his point of view and begin to consider the writing as no good. His words were getting to me and sowing the wrong seeds.

But thankfully, I came to my senses before real damage was done. I realized that this friend was more of a clog in the wheel of my writing pursuit. As far as getting better with my writing was concerned, he would be of no help to me. There and then, I quit sharing my works with him.

Perhaps his manner of feedbacks was his own approach to helping me with my writing skills. Perhaps he meant well, in his own way. But in reality, with his constant dose of negative words, he was sowing seeds of discouragement in me.

Dear friends,

Words are powerful. They dominate our lives. Be careful the kinds of words you allow to come at you because they create your realities.

Man is a product of words. What he hears, when he hears it long enough, settles in his mind, informs his thought pattern, dominates his consciousness and consequently affects his life and decision making.

Words (whether positive or negative) are like arrowheads. When shot with precision hit the target 🎯 with such a force that leaves a lasting impact.

Negative words have the capacity to….

🎯Set you on the path of discouragement & frustration

🎯Make you devalue yourself

🎯Make you lose your sense of self-worth/esteem

🎯 Cause you to be fixated on what seems to be wrong and lose sight of the wonderful things about you.

🎯 Breed inferiority complex and the need to (over) compensate.

🎯 Limit a man’s progress and make a shipwreck of his goals, dreams and aspirations.

When you have accommodated people who complain about how dark you are long enough, you’ll stop thinking black is beautiful and start considering bleaching your skin.

When you tolerate folks who consistently tells you about how your writing lack form, very soon, you’ll start thinking you are ‘not destined’ to write and quit writing entirely.

When you permit those who never fail to impress on you your supposed lack of business acumen, you end up thinking you are not cut out for business and give it up eventually.

Be wary of

❎People who are quick to point out what you do wrong but hardly talk about good things you do

❎Those who (by their words and actions) make you feel bad about things out of your control – defects and all

❎Highly opinionated folks – your opinion can never count with them

❎People who often downplay your ideas, efforts and activities

❎Cynics and pessimists – everything is wrong in their opinion

❎Bitter people – they speak from the abundance of their bitter hearts

❎Folks who peddle in stereotypes – they are hardly intelligent lot

Rather, surround yourself with

❤️Folks who can criticize you constructively

❤️Folks whose words bring out the best in you

❤️Folks who are full of words of affirmation and encouragement

But more importantly, remember this:

You are what God’s Word says you are. God’s Word should have the greatest influence on you and your life.

Give no room for negative energy. Be particular about the words that come at you!

P.S. This post was inspired by the post of a fellow blogger @theafterthought titled: “The healing Power of Words” You can check out her blog for that post and more refreshing writings.


©IBUKUN

THE “SEE FINISH” SYNDROME 👀

Some time ago, I did a job for a friend who needed my writing service. We’ve been friends for a while and she has come to know me quite well. We agreed on terms and conditions and I began the work immediately.

Businesses Lesson No 1: Doing business with a friend can be tricky. If not well managed, you could end up with both a ruined relationship and a bad deal. Be wise about how you engage in business with people who are close to you.
I held up my end of the bargain. Gave the work my best and finished it in good time. Meanwhile, I didn’t charge her the standard fee for the kind of service because I was being nice and friendly. After all, it’s not all about the money. 😎

Business Lesson No 2: Unless you run an NGO, try to not to carry over friendship sentiments into your business dealings. While it’s reasonable to give special considerations to friends, it shouldn’t be to the detriment of your business.
What is more, I didn’t bother to ask for a down-payment (which is standard business practice) before committing to the work. I mean, she is my friend and shouldn’t default in paying. She’ll pay up as soon as I’m done with it.

Business Lesson No 3: Unless you are working pro bono, do well not to commit to a business bargain without a down-payment. People can be funny.


So I finished the work and delivered it to my dear friend even before the time agreed upon. She thanked me profusely for a job well done and then dropped a bomb on me:

I have to be ‘sincere‘ with you. But I’m not sure I can afford the fee. You are my padi (friend) na. You of all people should understand. Just let me pay you XYY (way below what I charged for the job)”.Note that I had already undercharged for the service while putting more finishing touches than what is generally obtainable. Meanwhile, she knew all along she couldn’t afford the agreed fee but chose not to say a word about it until the work was done and delivered. And why is that? “Isn’t it my friend ABC? What can go wrong?”

To cut a long story short, she didn’t pay me the much devalued fee until weeks later. What was more baffling was her attitude to it all. ‘I’ll pay you when I can’ 💁‍♀️. And why is that? She knows me too well: ‘Mr Nice Guy’ who will turn the other cheek when slapped.I chose not to take offense or let her conduct cause a rift between us. Took some doing though. But one thing is sure. She had lost my goodwill as far as business dealings with her was concerned. I won’t be doing business with her anytime soon.

By implication, she has lost out on:
📌 Having a friend who can get the job done promptly.
📌 A fellow who will execute the job as if it were his own.
📌One who won’t rip her off but will  charge her reasonably well.
📌 Someone she can fall back on to help her with the kind of service even when she is broke.

You see, it’s not a cliche when folks say too much familiarity breeds contempt.


I believe familiarity, in the real sense of it, shouldn’t breed contempt. After all, how can you claim to have a good relationship with someone if you don’t have a level of familiarity with them? But then, my people will say ‘when a handshake goes beyond the ankle, it has become something else’.

It’s great display of wisdom and maturity when we don’t allow the privileged information or access we have to people cloud our sense of value and regard for them.I believe it’s a terrible lack of judgment when we treat those close to us or care about us with less regard while we worship at the feet of folks who care less about us.

You go out of your way to treat an outsider nicely and respectfully while you disregard those you know closely. Seriously?

There is an Algerian proverb that says “there is an excess of familiarity at the root of all hostility“. I think it’s not far from the truth.

Remember what transpired between Jesus and his kinsmen? They couldn’t receive the blessings he had to offer because of the background knowledge they had of him: “Who does he think he is? Isn’t he the son of the carpenter we’ve always known?”

Someone once said that too much familiarity makes us devalue those we love the most because we are used to them being around. 💯

Nigerians have a colloquial way of referring to this malady. They call it SEE FINISH.

Oh, you mean Mr. XYZ? I know him too well.”

” Don’t mind her. Isn’t she the same girl I know? She doesn’t have much to offer.”

SEE FINISH is why
📌A family member of a man of God fails to receive healing from him while other church members do.
📌 A wife is bemused when outsiders speak highly of her husband 😏
📌 A friend fails to take another seriously and misses out on a vital information passed on by the friend.

I can go on…

Whatever you do, avoid being too familiar (SEE FINISH) with people. You will lose value for them and not make the best of your relationship with them. You will shoot yourself in the leg!
Thank you for reading.


©IBUKUN

TO KAREN: ON HER BIRTHDAY

It’s your day today and I’m here trying to figure out what to say to/about you…

Knowing you has made these facts about friendship more evident:

✅ Friendship is intentional – It won’t survive if taken with a pinch of salt.

✅ It’s a responsibility – There are things expected of you & which you ought to live up to.

✅ It’s not a bed of roses – It’s not always a smooth ride or walk in the park.

✅ True friendship endures regardless of distance/space – Any form of relationship will work if you want it to.

✅ If you are not adding value to the other person, you are not a real friend.

✅ Friendship is when you don’t make the other feel comfortable in his/comfort zone but force them to lever yourself up.

✅ A friend is one who accepts you just the way you are but pushes you to be a better person.

✅More importantly, a true friend is real, sincere and down-to-earth with you. He/she doesn’t walk on egg shells around you. Will tell you what you’re not doing right at every point.

I can go on and on…


You soar with wings as eagles…

Going higher and stronger.

You are as vintage wine…

Never losing its taste.

Just like the Iroko tree…

All of your being adding value to mankind.

Like a tree planted by the river side…

Ever refreshed, the season regardless.

Even as a flint…

Standing the test of time.


Happy birthday Karen! 🎂

Thank you for all you do.

It’s been a blessing having you as a friend 🥂


P. S. Do show her some love by visiting her blog and availing yourself of the pretty great contents she has to offer.

ODE TO MOTIVAT🎤ON: ON A LIGHTER NOTE

I remember how back in my undergrad days (can’t remember what level now) the network giant MTN sponsored a program where Les Brown, one of America’s foremost motivational speakers, was invited to speak to us undergraduates.

And without a doubt, he did a hell of a job of it.

Well, he wouldn’t have done any less for a service fee of $50,000.

Yes, you heard me clearly. He earned $50,000, back in 2010, to tell us good stuffs.

But that’s by the way…

He did his thing and did it like the master motivator that he was…

Les Brown

He provoked the emotions of many as he recounted his grass to grace story. Even the seemingly hard guys soon became teary-eyed.

But before we could call for a pity party, he had begun got to throw the classic punch lines at us, getting us all psyched up:

“If I can make it, you can make it… Don’t see a problem, see a challenge… 😎Believe you can do it, trust in yourself…Focus on the process not the destination…If you can think it, you can achieve it”, bla bla bla

By this time, the room was up in smoke (not literally). Majority of the students in attendance were already getting fired up to go take over the world. We all couldn’t wait to leave the auditorium to go pull up mountains and pull down the sky.

Such was the excitement Les Brown’s pep talk created.

You could tell that he was visibly impressed at the ‘commotion’ he had created as he bade us farewell and left the podium, $50,000 richer.

Hardly had he left the podium than the anchor came up to tell us a class act was about to take on the stage. The program was about to come to an end with a performance by a star artiste.

Ladies and gentlemen, make some noise as I present to you Nigeria’s No 1 rapper, the one and only MI!…

The last words had barely left his mouth than the audience (students freshly inspired) jumped off their seats and rend the air with a deafening scream…

Then came in the Mr Incredible (MI) himself, doing his hit track at the time.

The song was Anoti.

MI

And trust me when I tell you that he brought the roof down with it.

Boy! The ‘just ignited’ students were doubly ignited. Some even made to run onstage just to touch the helm of MI’s garment. The bouncers had a hell of a job restraining them.

Think about it…

Just some minutes ago, this lot were being stimulated by Brown’s powerful speech. But before you could say Jack, they were gyrating away to MI’s brand new beat with careless abandon.

In no time, the bulk of them had danced $50,000 worth of Les Brown’s motivation away.

They left the auditorium more pumped up with MI’s hit song than with Les Brown’s fair speeches.


When all is said and done,

Motivation is an internal process which only the person can control. Others can influence, encourage, or inspire. Only the receiver can motivate themselves to action. Jean-Pierre


© IBUKUN

LESSONS FROM MY NIGHT WATCHMAN

Night watchmen are scams!

Well, maybe not in your part of the world. So I shouldn’t generalize…

However, in my clime, we hire them just to fulfill all righteousness & have a sense of security and not because we rely on them for safety.

We used to have two of them in my neighborhood, back in the day. They always began their watch anytime from 11:00pm. They make their presence known by the sound of their gongs. Yep. They would bit the gongs with a stick for a couple of minutes.

By the way, they don’t just bit the gong randomly. Rather, they bit it in a rhythmic manner, in a manner that communicates a message that says “stay indoors y’all’.

But I digress…

So these men would go around the neighborhood disturbing the residents, most of whom were long asleep, with the noise from their gongs. After a while, they would stop constituting nuisance and ‘get down to business’. Their job was to keep alert throughout the night and go around the neighborhood intermittently to ensure nothing went amiss.

Unknown to us, the minute they were done with their routine of gong beating, they would find themselves a prime spot to lay their heads and do some sleeping. Only to wake up an hour before the end of their watch in order to do another round of gong beating about the neighborhood. Just so we’ll think they have been up all night doing the Lord’s work.

How did we know they slept through the night? Simple. We had a couple of night crawlers in the neighborhood who caught them in the very act a couple of times.

Anyway, we didn’t realize that we were on our own (as far as security is concerned) until one fateful night when men of the underworld decided to pay us a courtesy visit. I’m talking about the type that come heavily prepared for any form of gunfight.

At the sound of the shot from the AK-47 rifle from the bandits, our blessed night watchmen abandoned their dane guns and took to their heels. 😁

Those armed men had a field day in our neighborhood that night.

Interesting narrative, isn’t it? The experience was not a pleasant one for the victims though.

Meanwhile, I shared this account to say one thing: ”

Never put your faith in men!

Whatever you do, never put too much reliance on people or overly depend on others to get things done. You’ll end up setting yourself up for series of disappointments. While, you wisely discern reliable/dependable folks and count on them, take responsibility for your life and put your faith in God.

Cheers.


P. S. Even as I type this post, I can here the sound of the gong coming from our current night watchman. Funny lots.


Image Credit: udemy

©Ibukun

THIS THING CALLED BAD ATTITUDE…

Ethan was clearly a brilliant chap. He aced all of his courses and finished on top of his class with a first class honours in information technology. As an undergrad, he had added two internationally recognised certifications to his feathers. Occupying himself with online trainings in key aspects of his field of interest was his extra-curricular activity.

Meanwhile, while he strove to achieve academic excellence, he engaged himself in a couple of side hustles as well. The idea was to boost his pocket and resume alongside thereby getting ready for the cooperate world.

Smart move you’ll call that. In a country where businesses required a minimum of 3-year working experience from a fresh graduate, anyone with as little as a grain of sense should begin to save for the rainy day.

This position is mine“, he affirmed as he prepared himself for the interview he had that day with ITech the most relevant IT firm in the country, and his dream workplace too.

Yea, he had just returned from the compulsory one-year youth service program (NYSC). A pure waste of good time in his opinion. Anyway, he landed on his feet upon his return and got an invite for an interview for the post of UI/UX designer he had applied for a few months to the end of his service year.

“The interviewers can try all they want. I’m the man for this job”.

That same morning, on the exclusive part of town, Mr Smith was in a frenzy, trying desperately not to be late for work. He hurriedly arranged his papers in a bid to dash out of his apartment. He had worked late into the night dealing with some office work and finally slept off a few minutes to 3 only to wake up with a start just before 6:45am.

Locking up the front door of his apartment, he made for his car and tried to start it immediately. But much to his chagrin, the engine refused to come alive after several attempts. Unknown to him, he had forgotten to turn off the tail lights upon getting home the evening before. The light was on for hours until it finally drained the car battery.

Damn“! He cussed in frustration. “This is a bad time for this ride to develop a fault, not when I’m already running late“.

Meanwhile, it was still way too early to get his mechanic to come fix it. “Thank God for Uber”, he sighed as he reached into his pocket for his phone. He began to navigate through the Uber app in order to hail a cab but discovered he couldn’t connect at all. Upon closer look at his device, he realised there was no single bar on his network.

Phew! Heirtel has done its worst“. At that point, he knew he had only one choice – an unpleasant one at that: Take public transport aka ‘danfo’! He hadn’t taken a public transport in 4 years. As far as he was concerned, those buses are mobile contraptions to be avoided.

But since when did beggars become choosers. He found his way to the bus stop and joined the teaming number of workers struggling for spaces on incoming busses. After a seemingly endless period of struggle, he finally got into a physically battered one with bare woods as seats.

As he made his way to the rear seat where there was available space, he stepped inadvertently on the well-polished shoe of a young man. The victim moved his leg immediately and railed at him.

Are you blind or what? Don’t you know you just stepped on my shoe? Why can’t you watch where you’re stepping”?

Wow! Mr Smith was dumbfounded. All these just because he stepped on a shoe? He took a good look at the assailant. The young man looked too well-groomed for his ill manners. But rather than hit back at him, he simply apologized and took his seat.

Sorry for yourself“, the young man re-joined, hissing perfunctorily.

An elderly woman was unlucky to sit beside him. Because she was closest to the door and was barely sitting with a pair of her butt, she turned to the young man and appealed to him to “kindly ‘adjust’ a little” (move over) so she can sit a bit more conveniently.

And where do you want me to move to, he responded. You shouldn’t have joined the bus if you knew the sitting position was inconvenient for you“.

Other commuters tried to make him see reason but he shouted them all down. He even used the f-word on one. Mr Smart took all these young in and wondered what the world has come to. The younger generation and their ways.

In the meantime, he decided to alight a walking distance away from his workplace so he could

Fast forward to an hour and a half later, that same morning, Ethan had already successfully gone through the first phase of his interview and was left with the final and determining interview with the head of HR.

After waiting for a couple of minutes to see the boss, the secretary ushered him into the office of the HR boss. Upon hearing the door open, Mr Smith looked away from the system he had been staring at to see who the newcomer was.

Alas, standing before him was the young man from the bus, the rancorous one. His personality was too striking to be easily forgotten.

Small world!

Interestingly, Ethan couldn’t recall having an encounter much earlier with the man who was about to decide his fate as a potential employee in the workplace of his dream.

He offered the young man a seat and asked if he recognized him, perusing his CV.

I don’t think so, sir” was Ethan’s courteous response.

That’s strange. Just a couple of hours ago, on the bus going to Kingsway, you lashed out at a man who stepped on your shoes. Remember“?

Ethan looked closely at the man before him for a minute and then his countenance changed, looking crestfallen as reality dawned on him.

Yes, I was the one you lashed at. Now that I think of it, I may have overlooked your verbal assault at me and considered you for this position regardless. However, your overall conduct on that bus showed that yours is a case study in vulgarity, one that is impossible to overlook”.

“I must confess you look good on paper and surely have the technical skills required for this post. However, there is more to the job description than the technical-know-how. It requires a person with a human phase – one who is empathetic and can relate well with people”.

“I’m afraid I have to turned you down“.


Someone once said that a bad attitude is like a flat tire. It won’t go anywhere until it’s fixed.

Physical endowments and unique abilities are great requirements. However, a right attitude is a necessity.

Many times, folks need only to look in the mirror to check what the problem is.


Image Credit: Scruggs Auto

© ayansola ibukun

DELIVER SUCH UNTO SATAN.?

You all know the story. This ‘wonderful’ brother in the church of Corinth was having an affair with his father’s wife… I’m thinking a much younger wife but his step-mum nonetheless. Meanwhile, the sexcapade wasn’t a product of error – a one-time affair; he made a habit of it.

I’ve heard some say the fellow couldn’t have been a Christian. He must have probably been a mere churchgoer. No ‘real Christian’ can stoop so low into such a despicable. Well, I’m afraid he was indeed a Christian.

Just in the first chapter of the book, 1:2, Paul address his audience (the Corinthian Christians) as saints, i.e. holy. In fact, he praises their spiritual fervency in verses 5 to 7. However, just two chapters away (3:1-4), he refers to the same men he praised earlier as folks who behaved as carnal (mere) men. Although they were spirit-filled believers, traits as envying, jealousy and strife manifested in their conducts.

A believer can fall into sin when he fails to allow God’s Word influence his mind and consequently conduct.

Back to our dear brother – I’ll call him Brother Thomas. So Bro. Thomas -a man we were supposed to look up to in the church – was getting his step-mum laid. As if that wasn’t enough, the (Corinthian) church, where he worshipped, was nonchalant about it. In fact, they got arrogant over the matter: After all, unto the pure all things are pure.

You could imagine Paul’s indignation when he heard both of Bro Thomas’ lewd action and the I-don’t-care attitude of the church towards it. So you have such a ‘terrible Christian’ making a habit of fornication among you and turned a blind eye on it? How dare you allow him fellowship with you as if nothing happened and thereby make him feel comfortable with his actions? I’m ashamed of you all!

So Paul passes judgment over unrepentant Bro Thomas…

…to deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus

Now, this is where our wild imagination kicks in. Deliver him to Satan? Apostle Paul, sir, do you mean we should seize Bro Thomas, take him to the Temple of Satan downtown and hand him over to Lucifer’s representative there so he can inflict bodily/physical on his body?

Paul would have been baffled by such reasoning. He couldn’t in any way have thought of bringing Satan into the picture. Think about it: A believer sins and we invoke the devil on him. How does that add up? What has Satan got to do with saints, even when it comes to correcting an erring believer?

To deliver such an one unto Satan is a manner of speaking!

To start with, the word Satan in the Greek is the word that means ‘accuser’. A reference to the name connotes accusation hence to deliver a fellow unto Satan will imply delivering (subjecting) him to accusation. That accusation will happen via excommunication!

Notice Paul’s major concern was the fact that they didn’t isolate the brother so he can be ashamed of his act:

…in place of feeling sorrow, you are pleased with yourselves, so that he who has done this thing has not been sent away from among you.

…purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump.

…I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators

…Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person…

He kept harping on the need for them to dissociate themselves from the brother so he won’t be a bad influence on the other believers.

Bro Thomas is being unremorseful/unrepentant. To deliver him to Satan will therefore mean to subject him to accusation by not keeping company (identifying) with him so that he burns with shame to the end that the lustful appetite in him can be destroyed. Hence Paul’s judgement was to serve as a corrective measure.

A believer has no business with Satan. When he sins wilfully, he is to be judged and corrected by the church and not the devil. It’s not unheard of for a believer to fall into an error. However, it’s uncharacteristic of a believer to make a habit of it. When that’s the case, the church will walk in love (correct) towards such via stern reprimanding.

Remember, bro Thomas’ ‘harsh judgment’ of excommunication is not forever. Just because he sinned does not make him rejected by God. God still cares about him and wants him straightened up, hence the correction.

Delivering him to Satan (excommunication) is to make him ashamed and correct him. When the correction is achieved, he is to be restored to the gathering and accepted back with love.

Hear what Paul had to say about Bro Thomas much later:

2Co 2:6 The majority of you have imposed a severe enough punishment on that person.
2Co 2:7 So now forgive and comfort him. Such distress could overwhelm someone like that if he’s not forgiven and comforted.

Forgive him, comfort him and absolve him back into the fold! He is not a meat for the devil. He is a believer regardless.


Image Credits: Psychology Today, Fatherly,