A pastor decided to go against the ethics of his profession by indirectly castigating a particular member of his church with his entire sermon. He went on and on about people who would not submit to authority, people who thought they knew when they really did not know and people whose financial success had gotten to their heads and made them unresponsive to spiritual things. All through the sermon he kept looking in the direction of the man, who listened with rapt attention. After the service, the man walked straight to the pastor with a wry smile and said, “Congratulations Pastor. That was an absolutely brilliant sermon. It’s a pity that those who should have heard this didn’t come today.”
Since I posted my thoughts on “Why I Left church So Angry” on this blog, I have had an incredible flurry of responses from all over the world. Reactions have largely been admissions of mediocrity or anger at the status quo. A number of people felt that their own thoughts on the need for excellence in everything African had been captured. What seemed largely missing was that personal ownership and sense of responsibility manifested by a stated commitment to demonstrate the high standards, leadership and values that we all seemed to expect.
While it is easy to blame governments, colonial masters, our forefathers or the world order for any undesirable situation, the higher calling is to take charge of that change and to make a difference starting from our own small corner. The late Michael Jackson captures this best in his song “Man in the Mirror” when he sang:
I’m starting with the man in the mirror.
I’m asking him to change his ways.
No other message could have been any clearer.
If you wanna make the world a better place,
Take a look at yourself and then make a change.
The socio-economic transformation of our continent or the “African Spring” must begin from our homes, workplaces, neighbourhood, our churches or wherever we find ourselves. Interestingly, while a number of young people are responding to calls for a culture of entrepreneurship and excellence as the way forward for Africa, others are making little or no effort. As a conference speaker, I sometimes leave an event highly charged at the sight of many young executives and entrepreneurs determined to make a difference only to drive past another group of young people crowded outside a night club and engaging in all manner of vices in the full glare of the public. I sometimes pause and ask myself if there is anything I can do to help them. I have tried in some instances to engage such people with ‘interesting’ results.
A leader cannot help everyone. A pastor cannot change everyone in their congregation. A manager simply cannot keep everyone in their company. I have come to the humble conclusion that I cannot help everyone. I have therefore compiled my own list ‘unhelpable’ people. This may help you understand why you have had little success in helping some people. Even more importantly, it should help take a closer look at yourself and if you find these behaviours in your own life, to initiate immediate change. Here is my list of the ten kinds of people no one can help.
Having read all ten, it would be a perfect time to pause to look at the man or woman in the mirror. If one or more of these attitudes or behaviours are present in your life, you could be cutting short your supply of help. Do something about that today.
Peace & Many Blessings!!!
PS. If you think someone could be challenged by this post, kindly share the link with them. God bless you.