Sunday, November 22, 2015

Advice 2: Build Your Life On Scriptural Principles

Consider this for a moment. You are on the soccer pitch in a capacity filled stadium. You are about to take the last shot in the finals of a game that would be determined by penalty shootout. The hopes and aspirations of a whole nation rest on your shoulders. The game had been intense. Both teams have put in their very best for 120 minutes without a winner. Now, 80,000 fans at the stadium, and several millions watching across the globe are all focusing attention on you – some hoping you’ll score and others praying you’ll miss. You place the ball on the penalty mark, and take 3 steps backwards. The noise in the stadium is deafening and your heart beat is doing a double somersault! What a moment this can be! Whatever happens, your name will go down in the history books as the one who took the game winning shot, or as the one who caused the country to lose. It is a defining moment.
Our lives are a series of defining moments, strung together by passing time. 
Every one of us, at different point in life and career, are faced with defining moments! A lot depends on how we handle our defining moments. A lot depends on what we do at those moments, or what we don’t do; our decisions and indecisions. Our lives are a series of defining moments, strung together by passing time. 

I was faced with such a defining moment sometime in 1996. I had just finished my Ordinary National Diploma in one of the polytechnics in Nigeria. I was privileged to finish as the best graduating student in my class, winning the Rectors’ Award for that year. Shortly after, I was interviewing with one of the best oil companies in the country and was offered a job. The salary (as of then) was intimidating to say the least. I thought to myself “this would solve my financial problem and my family’s forever”! In the same week, I got my admission letter for a direct entry to a University, and was faced with a big dilemma. You may not understand how big this decision was if you didn’t know my family background. I needed the bucks so much at that time and any good way to get it would have been great. It was a big defining moment. I was going to play a shot that would later determine a lot of things in my life and career. Looking back retrospectively, I am glad I put the shot far beyond the reach of the goalkeeper (lol). Defining moments really defines. One way to better maximize your defining moments is to be “principle based”. When you live your life on principles, especially scriptural principles, you are better positioned to succeed.

As a science student in secondary school, I was fascinated by how our world was governed by laws and principles. These laws were no respecter of persons, tribe, age, colour or what have you. We were all subject to them and life is governed by them. We still are. Take the law of gravity for example. Anything that goes up comes down (except when a higher law is at work). It doesn't matter if it's in Australia or in Korea, in Africa or in the Caribbeans. Speak in diverse tongues for all you care, if you jump up, you are coming back in only one direction. I also learnt over time that principles don't change. Methods and techniques may change with time and technology but principles remain. The principle behind the automobile engine is still the same till date. However, the methods and techniques of building cars have evolved with time. If you stay put with a technique or method, you will soon become outdated. If you stay put with the principle, success is guaranteed.
When you live your life on principles, especially scriptural principles, you are better positioned to succeed.
 Principles give us direction in whatever circumstances we find ourselves in. They are applicable to any given situation and will determine our direction. Those who do not have permanent principles will find themselves drifting along and making decisions that are personally expedient, short-term oriented and usually bad for their long-term success. May I submit to you then, that there are no better principles to live by, than those commanded by our Lord, who also lived by those principles? If you want to make the best out of your life and your existence, then, you’ve got to build your life on scriptural principles.

Here are some examples to think about:

You reap what you sow
If you play now (short term benefits), you will pay later.
If you want to be great, you’ve got to be a servant
Godliness with contentment is great gain.

Feel free to share on some other principles that has helped you live for God and succeed in life. God bless you.

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