Having been on the hustling street for sometime now, this is one of the discoveries I’ve made. I could be wrong to make a generalisation out of it though, but, it doesn’t take away the fact that it is my experience.
I’ve realised that on an average, compared to the Muslims, most of us Christians are the most dishonest, ungrateful, entitled and lackadaisical individuals you can work with. Why is that?
Frankly, if I’m to choose between an average Christian and an average Muslim, both having almost the same experience and level of competence, for an opportunity, unless the Holy Spirit instructs me otherwise, I bet, I’m likely to go for the Muslim. The reason for my choice will be one thing: CHARACTER.
I think the Church needs to rise up and correct this. Lest, we’ll raise an entitled tongue speaking, Holy Ghost filled generation who cannot dominate the market place for Christ because they lack character, responsibility, discipline and diligence. We are so critical and judgemental of the ways of the unbeliever, and yet, lack the capacity to outperform them in the market-place. As Christians, we need to find the balance between our so called spirituality and character. The presence of one is not a replacement for the other.
The unbeliever with an impeccable character, skill-sets, competence and a great attitude towards work, will do far better in this world than a committed Christian who lacks competence and has several gaps in his character. Prayer or spirituality is not a replacement for hardwork, competence, diligence, honesty, integrity and skills. If all you focus on is building your prayer and spiritual life without working on your character and acquiring relevant skills in your field of work, you’ll live a very frustrated life, die poor and perhaps, go to “heaven” as your only reward – well, that’s if your poverty didn’t push you into “sin”.
Yes, I must admit, prayer can bring you miracles. In fact, our God is a miracle working God. But He expects us to build systems that can multiply and sustain the miracles when they come. These systems are built on skills and character rather than spirituality alone. It’s foolishness to build your entire life expecting miracles! Polish your character and skills as much as you build your spiritual life. As much as you crave a relationship with God, learn how to build strategic relationships with your fellow humans.
Prayer and fasting can open a door for you but your character and lack of relevant skills can shut those same doors on your face! Prayer can bring the destiny helpers but your dishonesty and lack of integrity can stop them from helping you the way they ought to. Prayer can bring great friends into your life but your attitude can send them away. Prayer can bring the miracle money but if you lack financial skills, it wouldn’t be long it’ll vanish like a miracle.
When prayer brings you the customers, do you have the skills to keep them? Is your product or services topnotch enough to keep them coming back for more and recommending you to others? When fasting brings you the job, do you have the character and the competence to execute your role excellently? When God gifts you that good partner you’ve been praying for, do you have the character to keep him/her?
Sometimes, it’s not more prayers we need to receive that breakthrough, we only need to improve our character, skill up and be willing to serve. Sometimes, the reason our prayers go unanswered for so long is, God is waiting on us to refine our character and build our capacity first, so we won’t disgrace Him and ourselves when He finally opens the doors.
Are you valuable enough that people can’t ignore you? Are you skillful enough that people will be willing to pay anything to keep you and recommend you to others? Are you so honest in your dealings that people can bet their reputation on you?
So here’s why I might choose an honest and competent unbeliever over a Christian who lacks character — it’s easier to influence and guide an honest person to become spiritual but to change a highly spiritual Christian who lacks character to become honest, that will be an excruciating herculean task.
Christendom needs a Paradigm Shift. Prayer, fasting and spirituality alone would not be enough if we’re to make disciples of all nations and influence institutions for our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ. And yes, character, competence and skills would also not be enough. We must strive to find a way to balance character and spirituality. Don’t let anything take away your spirituality. Don’t lose your character and your moral compass for anything! You need the blend of spirituality and character (and competence or skills) to make great exploits on earth!
There’s a Hero in you; unleash it!