Within the space of two weeks, two different people within my circle of influence were visibly shaken by other people’s opinions about them. One moment, we were talking and jesting, the very next moment, they were wrapped with so much doubt and uncertainty in themselves. What I found most appalling is the fact that nobody had been physically present to make them feel bad.
I can empathize since I was once a victim too.
I had always attached a large importance to what people thought about me. In fact, in a bid to maintain my “Nice Guy” persona, I went to great lengths to conform to other people’s expectations of me. Not only did this leave me in the quagmire of mediocrity, I was also constantly overwhelmed and frustrated, because I was spread out too thin, trying to “meet up with the standard”.
Right now, God has cultivated me to the point where I really could not give a rip about your opinions of me.
By the way, you can still get your copy by clicking on the picture above!
Anyways, I may still have tendencies to be shy in a new environment, but I am secure in the love of the Father to know that He’s got me – any day, any time. Of course, by now, you should know that one of my favorite Scriptures I like to quote about this matter is John 12:3-5:
“Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.”
Are you like the way I used to be? Frustrated and overwhelmed with meeting up with the opinions of others? Pay attention to the following practical tips that may be helpful in helping you to a life of freedom and abundance – just as God wants it!
The Father, The Son And The…Donkey!
I’m sure I’ve heard Ebenezer Obey sing a song about the story I am about to share. Ah! The good ol’ days…
But I digress.
So, there was this old man who had a son and a donkey. They were apparently going on a long journey and the father put the boy on the donkey, while he walked by the side. As they moved along, they passed some old women sitting in the shade. One of the women called out (I’m pretty sure she was a Yoruba woman), ”Ahhhhhh…..Shame on you, a fully fit boy, riding while your old father is walking. What is this world turning to? Ahhhh….the children of nowadays!”
The man and boy decided that maybe the critics were right, so they swapped positions.
Later as they passed by a group of mothers watching their young children play by the river. One (Yoruba woman, of course!) cried out in protest, ” Ahhhhh….eh!!! Oooooooo!!! Ahnahn! Ahnhan! Ahnhan! Wat hapin na? How can you make your little boy walk under this terribly hot sun while you ride! Ahnhan…don’t you have any conscience?”
So, what did the duo do? They simply decided that maybe it would be in their best interest to walk.
Next, they met some young Warri men hanging out.
“Oboi! See craze o! You guys have a healthy donkey to ride on, and yet you’re both walking!” one of them shouted.
So, both the old man and his son climbed the donkey.
Then they met a group of Animal lovers….
Of course, one of them shouted, “You people are so mean! Imagine you were the donkey, how would you feel carrying two people on your back?”
The old man and the boy saw that there was clearly no way out of their ‘predicament’, so they struggled to carry the donkey.
As they crossed a bridge, they lost their grip on the really confused animal and it fell to its death in the river!
This is pretty much the first lesson to be learnt: Irrespective of what you do, people would always talk about you!
If you do something, they would talk. If you refuse to do anything, they would still talk. It makes absolutely no difference if you do anything or not, because people would always find a way to still talk about whatever you do.
Funny enough, in my experience, I was able to find freedom to live above people’s opinions of me the moment I realized that opinions would still be formed – regardless of what I do. If that’s that’s the case, I might as well go ahead with what I feel God is leading me to do per time!
Nothing Has Meaning, Except The Meaning You Give To It
Some days ago, I wrote the following on my Facebook wall:
“All human phenomena are absurd outside context. E.g, money: ‘Give me this Ferrari and I’ll give you a piece of paper with digits. Deal?'”
I was with a person who posted Christian content on his personal Facebook wall.
Now, that would not have really mattered, except when you consider the fact that this person is a highly-placed individual in a very secular community. So, naturally, some people started criticizing him for posting such content.
That really got to him.
I mean, it’s not like he shared some nudity or pornographic images on his Facebook timeline. He only shared a few encouraging lines from the Bible and he was being criticized for it?
If you look at the issue the way I have started seeing things, you’d realize that some things do not even make sense at all, except you decide to read meanings. Everyone accesses social media via their phones and laptops and if you are working yourself up because someone criticizes you on social media, in the ‘realest‘ sense, you are actually getting worked up with your phone! Whoever is criticizing you online is not in the same room with you, and there is no need for you to waste mental energy rehearsing your rebuttal in your mind. There is simply no time for that!
I remember a story I heard while growing up. Now, don’t quote me anywhere because I’m not sure whether it’s fact or fiction.
So, this witch went to a party and she was served jollof rice and fried rice – topped with chicken wings. She took offense and some days later, she started afflicting the family who organized the party. One way or the other, the witch was soon found out and she was asked why she decided to afflict the family.
Her response? Her rice was topped with chicken wings, instead of chicken thighs!
While some of you might laugh at the story I just shared, a lot of you reading this post are just the same way. In fact, so many would be offended if they went to a party and were served water, instead of juice or wine. They would forget that water is probably the healthiest liquid you can drink. Rather, they would think that they have just received the worst insult that any human could possibly endure!
Don’t even get me started with those who feel offended because someone handed something over to them with their left hand – instead of the right hand….
Receive Understanding To Tie It All Together
You would not believe it (just kidding!), but God has an opinion.
He has an opinion about everything – and He has His opinion about you!
If there was ever an opinion you need to highly consider in your life – that opinion is God’s.
This is where Understanding comes in play.
You see, Understanding is a supernatural discernment and perception of reality from God’s point of view. In essence, it is perceiving and accepting God’s opinion about things, people and places per time.
The truth is that with Understanding, it is impossible for you to be confounded, depressed, confused or at a loss. Why? You have the benefit of a supernaturally elevated perception – one that is backed by the very breath of God. By understanding, you are tuned into the dynamics of the spirit and your comprehension of actions, events and intentions becomes razor-sharp.
To me, the most outstanding feature of understanding is that it is applicable to EVERY aspect of your life. That includes your physical well-being, career, social life, relationships, spiritual walk with God, emotional intelligence, financial health and so on.
Proverbs 8:9 says, ‘They are ALL plain to him that understandeth’
Understanding makes all things plain to an individual.
Understanding is all-encompassing.
When it’s in full manifestation in your life, you understand the ways and timings of God, you undestand people, you understand things, and most importantly, you’d understand how God sees you.
He sees you as righteous.
He sees you as anointed.
He sees you as wise.
He sees you as forgiven.
God sees you as beloved!
The more you focus on God’s perspective of you, the more you can walk in the full awareness of God’s love – without anybody’s opinions holding you to ransom!
And if they try, you can look them squarely in the eyes and ask them, “Who Died And Made You God?!”