6 min read
Most employees are among the most narcissistic people on the face of the earth. I can count with my fingers the number of employees I’ve met that are joyful and grateful for their employers and the companies and organizations they work for. When I listen to employers, business leaders, and small business owners, the constant gripe they have is with employees who are unresponsive and unproductive.
Initially, when an employee joins a company, she might radiate gracefulness and joy, but as time goes by, she gets captured by the company’s culture, her joy dissipates and she becomes angry and bitter. Not long after, her performance starts to dip and red flags are raised. She blames everyone but herself – it’s the tools, economy, spouse, kids, government, politicians, traffic, lack of exercise and the blame game goes on and on. She takes on the management team. Her friends think she is political. Her “frankness” makes her bosses overlook her for promotion and bonuses. Truth be told, she is not good at her job and eventually, she is fired or resigns. She looks for another employer hoping this time around things will be different. In her new job, the cycle continues. Different place, same old faces.
I always listen with anguish when I hear employees who identify as Christian bash their employers. A few years back, the employee was jobless, others in her situation would do anything to get some work, any work, but here she is.
So, if this person is a Christian, I always try to point them to the gospel of grace.
Here’s how I do it.
Continue reading “How to pray for your employer”
5 min read
A young man speaks up in Job’s conversations with his friends. Job’s friends, elderly and experienced, had spoken first. They had given Job advice on why he was suffering. Much of it is accusations and false assumptions, but elderliness gives them sway. This young man has been holding his breath all the while. He speaks up. Burning with anger, he rages poetic; I am full of pent-up words, and the spirit within me urges me on. I am like a cask of wine without a vent, like a new wineskin ready to burst! I must speak to find relief, so let me give my answers. I won’t play favourites or try to flatter anyone. For if I tried flattery, my Creator would soon destroy me. (Job 32:18-22 NLT)
The young man then rebukes Job for his self-righteousness and then rebukes the older friends for falsely accusing Job. This was a bold move in a culture where the elderly were held in high esteem, their words unvarnished. This young man had some balls, we would say.
Job is me when bad things happen. When bad things happen to me, I quickly look at my performance. Have I been good? Have I been bad? If I’ve been good, why are these things happening? Good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people, right?
This young man could not take it. Yoh Job, you are wrong, and I will show you why. For God is greater than any human being. (Job 33:12 NLT)
A detour of sorts…
Continue reading “If you are suffering, get yourself this friend ASAP”
6 min read
Obama, Obama, Obama. This man elicits highly charged responses depending on which side of the racial, spiritual and political divide one stands. He is the world’s most ignorant leader according to some, or the smartest we have ever seen on the international stage in our generation. He is antichrist to some and a Christian, even a saint to others. He is highly divisive to some and a uniting force to others. With Obama, there is no neutral ground. He is like marmite. You love him or hate him to bits.
My Christian brother has a very obvious stance on Obama. He likes him as a person, his charm and intelligence and is vehemently opposed to his ideas. As you can gather, he is a conservative and Obama is a liberal, and as usual, these two don’t see eye to eye on a wide range of issues. Obviously then, Trump is his man. Although he doesn’t highly rate his Christianity, Trump has kept his word and fulfilled his campaign promises. For this reason, Trump’s misnomers are just shrugged off. In his own words, “When I see him pull off one of his crazy moves I just scratch my head, shake my head and move on!!”. He continues, “I’d rather have a flawed man who makes a fool of himself in front of the whole world acknowledging God than a polished, smart, politically correct democrat that will be used to unleash wickedness in the land”.
A point my Christian brother made repeatedly was that I loathed Trump and at some point, I had to refute it. I don’t loathe Trump. Loathing Trump would be going against a fundamental tenet of the Christian faith, love. I repeatedly emphasized the point that it doesn’t bode well for the church when we support Obama or Trump, that the Christian faith stands above politics and politicians.
Our back and forth was about how leaders with Christian convictions should lead in the marketplace—marketplace being anywhere else apart from the church. So this was my response.
Continue reading “On Obama and leadership”
4 min read
Pop psychology tells us to do this—believe in yourself, all you need is inside you, look within you. We are constantly being bombarded with images and stories that tell us if we believe in ourselves, we would get the promotion at the workplace, or become a better spouse, or do well at school, etc. In our age of social media, insta-influencers post pictures, videos and write inspirational blog posts on the power of believing in yourself. Pop psychology teaches us the ills we see in ourselves and in the world are because we don’t really believe in ourselves—that we have low self-esteem.
Now Peter one of Jesus’ first followers tried pop psychology and….
Here’s the story.
Continue reading “Trippin’? Here’s some good news for you.”
4 min read
A few days ago, l listened to Tim Keller, the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church talk on personal prayer, and in his message, he made this statement that “Prayer is an act of rebellion against the status quo.” This line of thought seemed out of place with the rest of his talk because his subsequent points did not match. The thought stood out on its own like a sore thumb, like a socket out of joint. The feelings it provoked in me, though, were stunning almost breathtaking, blows to the gut feelings and yet restful and comforting.
Think of this, most Christians consider prayer a nuisance, an interference, a waste of time, a break in the stride. Why pray when I could just solve this problem, when I can just send that email, tweet or Facebook post, when I can just take my wife on holiday and our marriage will come right, when I can just kiss the ring and I will get the promotion, when I can just sleep with him or her with no commitment, when I can just work myself to death to live in that suburb or drive that latest BMW series? Why pray? U domkop wena for praying, an Afrikaans and Zulu saying that means you are stupid, a dunderhead, literally you are dumb for praying and not doing something about your situation. When ego, strength, power, control, planning, etc., are celebrated, praying, a counterintuitive act goes against the grain, it’s an act of rebellion against the status quo.
Suddenly, it seems as if that statement opened the floodgates for other ideas. I thought about what rebellion means, what status quo means and developed these thoughts.
Continue reading “Rebel against the status quo”
5 min read
There are no Bible verses that have suffered more at the hands of charismatic preachers than these I’m about to share with you. There are many of them but these rank as the worst. These Bible verses are a staple among charismatic Christians—a movement I belong to and cherish.
The misinterpretation and misapplication of these Bible verses have produced three kinds of charismatic Christians.
- Those who have seen their prayers answered because they did what these verses told them to do. They have tremendous stories of things that have happened in their lives. They applied the principles taught in these verses and voila, everything changed for them.
- And then there are those who prayed and prayed some more, and nothing happened. The ones who eventually left the charismatic movement, disillusioned by having no results in their lives.
- And there are those who still pray, pray and pray some more, hoping their persistence will pay off. They are desperate. They will hang in there until God blesses them. Like Jacob, they will not let go until God blesses them. They are still at it, even to this day.
The misery and carnage left behind by these verses are of untold proportions.
Let’s follow the story. Shall we?
Continue reading “Have no doubt”
6 min read
Then the mother of James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus with her sons. She knelt respectfully to ask a favor. “What is your request?” he asked. She replied, “In your Kingdom, please let my two sons sit in places of honor next to you, one on your right and the other on your left.” But Jesus answered by saying to them, “You don’t know what you are asking! Are you able to drink from the bitter cup of suffering I am about to drink?” “Oh yes,” they replied, “we are able!” Jesus told them, “You will indeed drink from my bitter cup. But I have no right to say who will sit on my right or my left. My Father has prepared those places for the ones he has chosen.” Matthew 20:20-23 (NLT)
Oh, mothers and their sons. They will do anything for their sons. James and John’s mother is one suburbanite lady who is always looking out for their best. She gets her sons into the best schools, social clubs, and even restaurants. She is a pusher. She knows the mayor’s wife and had good social connections. She is a career woman. She frequents beauty spa’s twice a week. Her exercise regimen, bar none. Her marriage is not that great, but hey, her two sons are her pride and joy, her significance and worth. Of course, they are. Most important of all, she is a spiritual woman. Oh, she goes to Church. She leads the lady’s ministry. She sings with the worship team. She is a super mum.
She approaches Jesus, kneels down and asks Jesus a favor. “In your Kingdom, please let my two sons sit in places of honor next to you, one on your right and the other on your left. Is that workable, Jesus? Could you make that happen? These are good boys. I have raised them well. Look, they even follow you. I mean, I raised them as instructed by King Solomon, If a child is trained up in the right way, even when he is old he will not be turned away from it. See I have done my part, now do yours.”
Continue reading “A mother and her two sons”