Welcome to 2022. I have written this piece about fifteen times in my head since the year started. The struggle to balance life, work, family, ministry, et al has been REAL!!!!
But instead of complaining, I went for reinforcement, a.k.a knowledge. I signed up with a productivity coach (shout out to Coach Ife Freeman) and changed my reading plan to just books on productivity (for now).
Before I had baby number three (who is currently six months old), I had mastered my energy cycles and basically knew how to breeze through my schedule. For this new phase of my life, I need to step up my game.
In December 2021, I released a podcast about how much influence we all have, thanks to technology and Social Media. I have observed how my mentors, teachers and kingdom sisters use their influence on Social Media and when compared to how a lot of people use that opportunity, there’s a world of difference.
If there’s potential for just one person to interact with your posts (on WhatsApp, twitter, Instagram), you do have the power of influence. You can catch the episode here.
That podcast was only the beginning of my learning how much we tend to view life and people through the lens of others.
Throwing in a casual ‘even though I don’t know what the fuss is about’ or some random (unnecessary) statement at the end of a BEAUTIFUL conversation is enough to plant a seed the next time they interact with that person or situation.
At the very next encounter with that person/situation, your casual shrug of disapproval would sure pop up in their head.
Sadly, we almost hold an opinion about some pastor, leader or person, sometimes, not even because of our own experiences but because our lenses have been coloured by others. Even when we are speaking from experience, we should be careful as one person’s blessings could appear where we had a not so good experience.
To the army of Israel, Goliath was a reminder of their weakness and incompetency. I mean, they were so terrified that the entire army lined up to fight one man but Goliath insisted they choose a representative to face him. Then David, a boy, comes along and these good men tried to warn him. Imagine if he listened? Goliath was his ticket to fame and recognition, his announcer!
The moment I was awakened to this, it dawned on me how often this happens to me and how badly my views and have been coloured. I’m also guilty of throwing my obviously biased opinion.
Don’t tell me about Folake’s negative experience with her mentor because I may get a chance to get wisdom from this mentor but your words may be the reason I subconsciously tune myself out of that experience.
Yes, you may know someone who experienced ill treatment from my Pastor but I don’t need this information because his ministry is important to my spiritual growth and I’d rather keep my focus on Jesus. Every single information you receive colours a lens, for good or bad.
Since I learnt this, I intentionally avoid giving my opinions and ideas about issues and people. Even when I didn’t have a good experience with something, that same thing could be beneficial to another.
Protect your lens. When it’s possible, excuse yourself from a space. My mentor recently shared how she declined a car lift midway, just to shield herself from a negative opinion about someone.
The next time you receive an opinion about someone or something, consciously refuse to internalise any information that doesn’t aim to build. Sometimes, you may not be able to simply walk away.
In my next post, I’ll be sharing my wins and lessons from 2021. Hey, I know it’s already the second month of the year but lessons don’t expire, right?