In my public evangelizing work I met 3 ladies in a Store who told me that they were busy and will not listen to me as I offered to share a scripture with them that Saturday Morning. Seeing that they were mature ladies whom I reckoned would benefit, I offered them a tract entitled ‘What is the Key to Happy Family Life?’*
As I stretched out the tract to her, one of the ladies said ‘I do not have a family and so cannot accept that tract’. It was said to dismiss me. I was taken aback and I blurted out ‘You must not deny that which you affirm!’
Her eyes widened a bit queryingly & I explained further, It is the normal desire of everyone to have a family of their own. For a lady like you, ‘I believe you desire to have a husband and beautiful children and you probably pray about it often’. She nodded & was attentive. ‘It may not have come, but it will!’. The loud thunderous ‘Amen’ from the 3 Ladies and a neighbor who was listening in no be here o.
So the things you desire, that you affirm, like having a family, you must not deny simply because you are busy. She stretched out both hands & collected the tract and promised to read it.
This evening as I reminisce on that encounter, the words kept ringing in my ears ‘You must not deny that which you affirm!’
Unfortunately, we all make the same mistake. We want good but despise it when we see it in others. E.g. we wish to have good health but we sometimes feel bad when we see it displayed (e.g in some people we consider our enemies). We want money to take care of our needs and wants and in the same breath despise it when we see others enjoying their wealth. We call them Thieves, Looters, and all vile names as if we have been appointed Judges and indeed the Court sat and we already convicted them.
It recently happened with an acquaintance at the Airport when I went to pick a friend inbound on an International flight. As the First Class Passengers disembarked he muttered: see them, thieves. Na them dey thief all our money for this country. I asked him ‘Is it everyone in First Class who is a Thief? Are there not people who are genuinely able, by their sweat to fly that class? You just told me you would like to have regular holidays, will you not wish to fly 1st class if you can afford it? Who are you to judge who a thief is & who is not? How will you feel being referred to as a thief after all the hard work?
This attitude messes up your psyche. Let me illustrate, will you ever arrive at your destination or go far if as you entered a Taxi you tell the Driver ‘take me to Location A, but as he pulls out, you tell him, ‘No, let’s do location B’ after a few minutes’ drive, you say ‘Take me to Location C’ with all 3 locations being in opposite directions? Even if the Taxi is running your fare on a meter, the Driver will soon tire of you and throw you out. Imagine giving your mind differing directions and changing these directions intermittently. A confused life will ensue.
Good thoughts and actions cannot co-exist at the same time as bad ones and then yield a pleasant result. We got to choose which we want & what we are attracting to ourselves. We also need to be consistent and not in one breath desire something and in the next despise it. “A spring does not cause the freshwater and the bitter water to bubble out of the same opening, does it?”# This is one of the great reasons why we must love all, including our enemies. You cannot have good when you wish evil on another regardless of who the person is. You can not have the peace you desire if you wish or plot chaos on another; nor have a happy marriage if your thoughts are of broken homes for another. If you want it, you must first rejoice with those who rejoice!
Remember, you must not deny that which you affirm nor endorse that which you abhor.
That’s how the universe works.
# James 3:11
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