Positive Quote For Today

"The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself."— C. JoyBell C.

Respecting People's Feelings

With permission, I have extracted this picture-quote from a Twitter page called Inspired Motivation Quotes. All rights reserved worldwide.

I like it when people all over the world visit this lovely blog of mine. That's why for the past six months or so, I have been updating my Goodreads connections, most of whom live overseas, about every new story I have posted on this blog. (Goodreads is a wonderful social networking site for avid readers.)

What I like even more is when I receive positive feedback from avid readers. (Aren't avid readers smart and intelligent?) Since I started updating my Goodreads connections about new stories on this blog, I have received quite a number of encouraging feedback messages. One lady from America, for instance, told me last year that I have a wonderful way of telling my stories. Another lady recently informed me that she enjoys reading the spiritual and human-interest stories I post on this blog.

Updating my Goodreads connections about new stories on this blog has not all been moonlight and roses though. A number of them have sent me discouraging comments. On the evening of last Sunday for example, two Goodreads connections sent me messages, asking me to desist from bothering them with whatever I am doing on this blog. Their messages hurt me like hell. I was full of gloom the following day (Monday).

Well, I have learnt from my readings never to take anything personally. But man, those two negative messages I received on Sunday depressed me for shizzle. I had to keep requesting God to restore in me the joy of His salvation.

Given how those two Goodreads connections depressed me, I wish they had unfriended or blocked me on Goodreads without my knowledge instead of sending me hurtful messages. Truly, the Bible is right when it says in the book of Proverbs that reckless words pierce like a sword.

The depression I felt on Monday as a result of those two negative messages made me reflect on the times I have uttered careless words to others, especially when angry. I remembered the time in 2007 when I curtly told my younger brother Symo that he wasn't bright while he was reading a book in the house. (Symo is actually a bright chap; I just hope he forgot my denigrating remark.)

I also remembered the afternoon in 2017 when I furiously rebuked my elder brother Bob Njinju, and then a few days later, I took him on a guilt trip by reminding him about all the times he had wronged me. As I gave Bob a piece of my mind, I was just thinking about myself and not considering the distress I could have been causing him with my arrogant rebukes.

And I remembered, too, the time in 2016 when I begged my immediate elder brother Paddy for some money for posting letters to several Fortune 500 companies headquartered in America. When Paddy sent me the money after I had already posted the letters, I complained in a Whatsapp group of my siblings about his untimely assistance.

My eldest brother Joe Kagigite, in his reaction to my complaint, advised me to just appreciate the money I had received from Paddy, however late it came, instead of grumbling. Joe was right. Again, I was just thinking about myself. Maybe Paddy had sent the money late due to work or personal problems.

At Starehe Boys' Centre, a prestigious institution in Nairobi where I had my high school and college education, we had a school rule that stated:
A Starehian respects authority and is dutiful, polite and considerate of other people's feelings.
How I wish the whole world would live by that Starehe rule! Especially being considerate of other people's feelings. People need to learn and understand that their actions are not just about them. What they do, say and write affects others as well.

Which is why I have resolved to be kind to others and say only what is helpful in building them up. Should someone wrong me, I will try to point out their sin without destroying their self-esteem. In short, I will strive to live by the Golden Rule so aptly stated this way in the Bible: "Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you." (Matthew 7:12)

My beloved reader, I beseech you to also respect other people's feelings. Before you tell someone to desist from sending you emails or text messages, pause and consider the emotional pain you could inflict on him. Be considerate and always keep in mind, as my high school piano teacher Matthew Brooks once told me, that "it doesn't hurt being kind." Ciao!

RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed the above story about respecting other people's feelings, you might also enjoy another one on "Rising Above Negativity" that I wrote sometime back. Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.


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Obeying God's Laws

With permission, I have extracted this picture-quote from a blog called I Love Psalms. All rights reserved worldwide.

During our high school Physics classes, we were taught some of the laws that make the universe operate the way it does: smoothly and efficiently. Among the laws we learnt were Hooke's Law, Snell's Law, Coulomb's Law and, of course, Newton's Laws of Motion. If it weren't for those laws, the Earth wouldn't be rotating for precisely 24 hours each day.

And you know what? Just as the universe is governed by a set of laws, so were we human beings designed to live by certain laws. For me, perhaps because I am a Christian, I find the Bible to contain the most effective set of laws. If we were all to obey biblical laws, we wouldn't be having such societal ills as rape, theft, murder and gender-based violence.

One thing I have discovered about biblical laws is that if we disobey them, we will be oppressed by those less intelligent than us. I am talking from experience since I have broken quite a number of those laws. Here's a quick summary of the sins I have committed and the biblical laws I have broken:

Sin I Have CommittedBiblical Law I Have Broken
Causing my parents distress by running away from homeHonor your father and mother so that you may live long... (Exodus 20:12)
Telling liesThe Lord detests lying lips... (Proverbs 12:22)
Over-eating (gluttony)For ... gluttons become poor and drowsiness clothes them in rags. (Proverbs 23:21)
Over-sleeping (sloth)A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest - and poverty will come on you like a bandit... (Proverbs 24:33-34)
Reacting in angerDo not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools. (Ecclesiastes 7:9)
Sending my friends silly and perverse messagesDo not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up... (Ephesians 4:29)
Plagiarizing other people's writings (stealing)He who has been stealing must steal no longer... (Ephesians 4:18)
Harboring bitterness in my soulGet rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:31-32)

Having experienced the consequences of breaking biblical laws (guilt, shame, oppression and resentment), I am now endeavoring to walk in obedience to God's Word. I have succeeded in obeying most of the biblical laws: rising before dawn, thinking noble thoughts, remaining chaste, telling the truth always, giving my all to the work I do, and asking for permission before taking other people's property.

The one biblical law that I am finding hard to live by is loving other people and being generous. Well, I am generally a people-loving person; I sometimes lovingly stare at the photos of my friends and famous people. But man, don't I sometimes feel jealous when others succeed and when I hear folks donate money to those in need!

About three months ago for instance, my mother received money from my younger brother Symo. She then had the money sent to three of her siblings just to make their day. Her generosity made me a little jealous. I had to overcome the pangs of jealousy by reminding myself of the verse in the Bible that says "a generous person will prosper".

Such kind of jealousy and selfishness is what I am struggling to overcome. I want to be generous with my money and with my feelings. By being generous with my feelings, I mean wishing others well in their endeavors and being enthusiastic about their success as I am about my own.

Because the Bible says God is love, I believe we are never more like God than when we love other people by wishing them well, by helping them at their hour of need and by complimenting them for doing good work. Which is why I want to be generous with my money and with my feelings.

As I strive to be generous, my role model will be David Mwakima, a friend of mine currently studying in America. Even though Mwakima is younger than me, he has unfailingly helped me at my hours of need. Sometimes when I approach him for financial assistance, I fear he might criticize me for relying on him too much. But he never does that. He just sends me money while complimenting me for the progress I am making. How I wish I could be that generous!

The Bible is very clear that we should practise generosity. In 1st Timothy 6:17-19, St. Paul urges rich people not to be arrogant but to do good, to be rich in good deeds, to be generous and willing to share. I will strive to live by that law in my day-to-day living. And why am I keen to obey biblical laws? Because of the joy, peace and freedom they bring to our souls. So help me God.

RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed reading the above story on obeying God's laws, you might also enjoy another one on "Practicing Generosity" that I wrote sometime back. Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.


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