3 People Lessons God Taught Me in 2021:
i. Opinion Management
Opinion Management means I have the capacity to control my perception and response to issues that directly concern me, issues that indirectly concern me and issues that do not concern me. Weighing in on every issue tabled before me is not a good use of time.
I learnt in 2021 that silence is also a response. However, its usage must be done with discretion because being silent when I should speak especially on issues that have dire consequences is not wisdom.
Still on silence, I learnt that using silence to deflect or evade truth on issues that directly or indirectly concern me is not wisdom but manipulation. When I choose reputation over truth on an issue where my voice should have been the loudest, the essence of my person becomes questionable & I lose the right to be taken seriously.
There is such a thing as being careless with vulnerable moments.
In a generation that applauds sharing your life with the world and ‘opening up’, God taught me yet again that applause and accolades is not an accurate barometer for measuring what He has enthroned as right for me.
What is right, what God endorses as right and what God endorses as right for me in a particular season are three different things.
Not everyone is entitled to my story and not every testimony should be shared publicly.
Sharing my story to encourage others is good but if others is not defined by God, I may cast my pearls before swines and that defeats the entire purpose of sharing in the first place — to bring glory to God.
Audience profiling before sharing is important.
Black Liturgies, ”a project seeking to integrate concepts of dignity, lament, rage, justice, rest, and liberation with the practice of written prayer” drives home this lesson on vulnerability in this prayer.
God of sacred secrets,
In a culture that so often exalts vulnerability and authenticity, would you make us careful with and protective of our stories? We’ve been trained to believe that ”opening up” is the inherently holy thing to do, even in the presence of those who cannot hold or love us in our story — allowing those who have been violent towards us to consume our pain for their own interest.
Some of us have learned to overexpose and overshare of ourselves as a form of intimacy we are desperately lacking. Protect us from the vulnerability which rubs the soul raw. Just as Mary only selected a few friends to know the story her body contained, so too make us faithful examiners of not just what to share but whom to share it with, knowing that no one is entitled to our story. Secrets can be sacred.
iii Withholding Good News
2021 was a year of harvest. The thing with harvest is it cannot be hidden and even if you decide not to share, eventually it announces itself.
God taught me the importance of withholding good news (for a good cause) with certain people even though they have good intentions. It didn’t quite sit right with me and I found myself pondering on the why.
Why shouldn’t I share?
I learnt overtime that good news can trigger.
Good intentioned people — depending on the season they are in — might spiral downwards on account of a news that inspires, strengthens, encourages and blesses another.
In response to this, I figured, how people respond to what I share shouldn’t be my responsibility. It is on them.
While that is true, God taught me that a hallmark of a consecrated believer is being driven by love. If I genuinely have a heart for people, I wouldn’t want to destroy them. A good thing in the wrong season can destroy.
The same way God doesn’t disclose certain things to us to protect us, I should also be proactive about sharing good news with certain people especially when I know they are in a sensitive season.