A young lad was brought to stay with us. His English was really bad. He could barely hear or speak the language. When I spoke to him, I tried to speak slowly and in broken (Nigerian pidgin English) so he could understand me.
I started, “Wetin be your…?”
Immediately, my mum interrupted me sharply. “No.” She was in full school principal mode. “Speak to him in correct English.”
“He doesn’t understand what I am saying….” I tried explaining.
“He will understand.” She replied, unbudging.
So we continued to speak to him in correct English.
It was difficult for everyone at first, but he began to understand, then soon began to speak back – haltingly at first, then more smoothly.
Soon, he was reading so fluently, I was amazed.
I later realised that if we had gone down to his level – to accommodate him – he wouldn’t have gotten so fluent as quickly.
Many years ago, I had just learned about faith – and God began to teach me about the importance of my words. He was so particular, I started speaking ‘right’ everytime and everywhere.
(That was when I began to realise just how much negativity is released through words into our atmosphere – especially in the name of being ‘realistic’. The words we speak are really spirit and life.)
I was working in a company and no matter what happened, I would confess positively. They must have thought I was extreme. Of course I got a lot of flack (particularly from Christians, funny enough!), but I continued.
Soon, I noticed people started being careful with their words around me. When they wanted to say anything negative to me, they would quickly correct themselves – with eye-rolling and sarcasm many times – but they would still speak ‘correctly’.
Soon, they stated speaking correctly about themselves, and it began to spread in the company. Without being aware of it, we began to re-create the climate we worked in.
It didn’t mean we spoke correctly 100% of the time, but the difference was drastically clear.
I remember I once laughed at something ridiculous a colleague had said and told her, “You are an unserious person.”
Immediately, she replied, “I am serious in Jesus’ name.”
I replied “True! Amen!” – and she wasn’t even a Christian!
I realised that if I had allowed myself to lower the standards God had set for me – to fit in with the environment – that would not have happened.
Every Christian has the Bible bar and Personal Bar. The Bible sets the bar for EVERY Christian – and is non-debatable. However, beyond the Bible, God might still give you personal bars:
It might be inconsequential or as grave as
- Praying over your meal publicly
- Saying to no ‘mere’ kissing before marriage
- Reading XYZ amount of the Bible daily or praying XYZ amount of the day
- Avoiding alcohol despite social drinking by other Christians
- Totally covering up in a world where indecent dressing is the norm
- Openly celebrating your spouse in a culture where divorce is celebrated
- Not allowing your children to certain gadgets or entertainment no matter how popular they seem to be
- Not participating in slamming the head of your country despite his many heinous sins
- Keeping mum on office or social media gossip despite the juicy news flying about
- Selling scarce goods at fair prices while your competitors are cashing out at exorbitant prices…
…and on and on.
Your bar might be different from mine. You might even come across as “over-the-top”, “excessive”, “fanatic”, “prudish”, “extreme”. It doesn’t matter.
If God has given you a bar, don’t lower it for anyone or anything.
Rather, let them rise up to meet you.
(Do you have a prayer request? Send it in. We will DEFINITELY be praying.)(Testimonies? Questions/Topics you want discussed? Suggestions on the blog? Drop a note. All private and anonymous. We will share only if requested.)