Wednesday, July 6, 2011

When Longsuffering is no longer a virtue

I am reminded of the story of a nice man who opened his home to some friends in need. He was very trusting and allowed them a lot of space with the intent of making them feel at home within his own house.

Gradually these friends started exhibiting patterns of behavior that contradicted the core values of this individual and the spirit upon which he intended to build his home. Boundaries were being broken and his principles were being violated. This man in his niceness chose to ignore the red warning flags, entering rather into a state of normalcy bias. He assumed his friends would eventually see his virtue of patience, respect that and change. He thought his friends were like him even when he saw signs that they clearly had no regard for his core values.
To cut the long story short, it wasn’t too long when this man found himself living outside the house he built begging others for a place to rest his head while these so called friends had taken possession of his home. Unfortunately in his naivety he walked around the house everyday hoping that his friends will see his suffering condition and have pity on him. He saw them walk past him with no sense of guilt, but with the spirit of entitlement, eat and drink in a place they knew nothing of how it came about.

What baffled him most was the lack of empathy towards him. This he could not just understand and that was what finally broke him. His friends had leveraged on their relationship with him to gain entrance and entrench themselves at the core of his life and then took ownership of his property. It is an old strategy of the Greek gift. Act like a sheep gain entrance then show your true colour.

There is a clear difference between a thief and a robber. A robber is one that openly strips you of your possession. He is loud about it but the real difference is that a robber has no existing relationship with you while the thief does. He is subtle, leveraging on the relationship you share, using your trust as his gate to quietly and secretly dispossess you of your most valuable assets.

Once the red flags start showing, study the activities of the person(s) and stop listening to their words alone. If he or she has no regard for your core values but enjoys staying within your house to reap the benefits of your personal sacrifice and discipline, then, my friend you have a problem on your hands.

The more time and space you give a thief the more credibility he builds as your friend making it less likely for others to understand your reasons when you eventually kick him or her out of your space.
Understand this clearly, the thief will dispossess you of all your treasures. That is his intent therefore approach the matter with tact and seriousness of purpose. The sooner you detect the deceitful maneuvers the easier it is to deal with it. The longer you wait the more difficult it will get.

Remember the sons of Belial cannot be handled with hands so your first move is to secure your house and life in prayer, sanctify it and pray for an opening in the natural that will give you the opportunity to deal with this.
The real lesson here is one of courage and not patience. For you to go far in life you must be courageous. You must be able to stand up for what you truly believe in even if it makes you unpopular with the folks.  Failure to stand up courageously will at best be a severe deterrent to your career, destiny and family and at worst can terminate everything you are and have worked for.

There are times in life when long suffering is not a virtue. The wise man Solomon said “there is a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which was planted, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing”.
You are putting up with stuff because you really are afraid of doing the right thing. You are afraid of the “unknown world” your decision would launch you into.

It is called cowardice not patience, weakness and not strength.  You go to sleep disturbed that something is wrong you have lost your peace yet you cling to what is administering death to your soul.
The Yoruba’s have an adage that says if you don’t quickly call out a thief with time he will flip the page on the owner and make him the thief. The offender will become the offended. The sooner you let them know you won’t stand for this and move into severe action the better it will be for their souls.

Regardless of the noise they make, deep down they know they have been caught and if administered in prayer the process of repentance begins. When you know that you know that you know something isn’t working act decisively before it becomes cancerous.

A little leaven leavens the entire lump... By Pastor Poju Oyemade

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