Praying for Discernment
A True Story
on Oct 24, 2023
In April 2007 when I was leaving Starehe Boys' Centre where I had my high school and college education, I was endowed with a lot of book knowledge which I attribute to the intensive reading I did at Starehe. But I had very little godly wisdom which was apparent in the way I would interact and associate with anyone who crossed my path.
One afternoon in 2007 for instance, I boarded a bus and sat next to a male passenger who proceeded to engage in a conversation. He told me about the sexual perversity he had seen on the internet and how he thought it immoral for women to wear slinky trousers. When we alighted from the bus, he invited me to go to his house.
Maybe I tended to associate with everyone because I heeded the advice in "Desiderata" that says, "As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story."
Then after I read Bill Clinton's memoir, I took my foolishness a notch higher by emulating Clinton in looking up to those people others look down upon. Bill Clinton made me want to hang out with those shunned by society.
So much did I strive to emulate Clinton that I would visit women in their homes and honor invitations by male friends to go to their houses. Some of the people I visited would welcome me warmly and offer me something to eat or drink.
And when I began writing stories in 2010, I would email my stories to everyone in my contact list, even to those who didn't know me well. While some gave me positive feedback on the stories I penned, others would get irritated by my frequent emails and command me not to bother them.
Looking back, I am realizing it was foolish of me to associate with every Tom, Dick and Harry that came my way. The truth is, some people are too pathetic to interact with. If everyone was as good as I grew up believing, we wouldn't have anyone imprisoned for committing such crimes as rape, theft, murder and peddling drugs.
Yes, some people are too pathetic to associate with. I now agree with whoever said that "sometimes you need to stop seeing the good in people and start seeing what they show you."
I think my lack of discernment and godly wisdom can be traced back to the way I grew up. As a teenager, I was often accused of being confused - a weakness I wrestled with well into adulthood. With such confusion, it was hard for me to discern who to associate with and who to avoid.
Because of my lack of discernment, I was slow at understanding people's motives. To give an example, a man I met at a certain church used to treat me with contempt. But I didn't realize he hated me until eight years later. That realization made me despise him in my heart. And it has taken me a long time for that bitterness to fade from my soul.
Then a certain lady, who I used to visit in her home, once took me to her bedroom to help her push her bed. And it wasn't until a few years later that it dawned on me that her intention of taking me to her bedroom could have been to seduce me into sleeping with her.
Now that I know women of all ages get sexually aroused, I should have been wary of visiting women in their homes. And now that I am aware homosexuality is real and that rape is a sexual fantasy of some men, I should also have been chary of male friends taking me to their houses.
Having grown wiser these days, I am always including wisdom, courage and discernment among the things I want God to bless me with. I want to know when people are deceiving me. I want to have the courage to say "no" to things that just don't feel right for me. And I want to discern when I am offering useful service and when others are taking advantage of me.
My beloved reader, I exhort you to also be praying for wisdom, courage and discernment which are as important as any material blessing, if not more important. In a fallen world full of evil, nothing can better prepare us for the challenges of life than possessing a spirit of valor and sound judgement. That's all I am saying.
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed reading the above story on praying for discernment, you might also enjoy another one on "Benefits of Wisdom" which I wrote a few years ago. Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.
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Book Review: "The Secret"
A True Story
on Oct 19, 2023
I love reading motivational books because they carry important messages for us. Recently, I developed a desire to re-read Rhonda Byrne's The Secret, a motivational book I downloaded from the internet a decade ago. Since I no longer read soft-copy books, I had to buy the book from a bookshop.
Two weeks ago, I found a hard-cover copy of the book on sale at a certain bookshop in Nairobi. It was retailing at Ksh. 2,250, making it the most expensive book I have ever purchased. Well, I did ask if the bookshop had a paperback version of the book only for the cashier to inform me there wasn't.
Eager to understand and apply the nuggets in the book, I began devouring it the following day. And wow! The book turned out to be a delightful and enlightening read. Okay, let me tell you more.
Rhonda Byrne begins the book by asserting there is a secret of attaining wealth, health, happiness and fulfilling relationships. She claims all the great people of the past knew and applied the secret. People like Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein and Abraham Lincoln. That's why they became eminently successful.
And what is the secret? It is the law of attraction which helps us attract money, the right marriage partner as well as our desired body weight. The law of attraction, which says like attracts like, is the most powerful law in the universe.
The first step we can apply the law of attraction is harboring the right thoughts. We should think thoughts of abundance if we want to attract riches. And if we want peace, we should think thoughts of love, hope and faith.
Since the law of attraction says like attracts like, most of us go wrong by keeping on thinking about what we don't want. Then we wonder why bad things show up over and over again in our lives.
An effective method of assessing whether we are thinking positive or negative thoughts is to check our feelings. It is impossible to feel good and have negative thoughts. If we are feeling bad, it is because our thoughts are negative.
It is also important that we believe that whatever we are asking the Universe for is going to happen. We should see the things we want as already ours. That insight has made me resolve the next time I see my dream car pass me by on the road, I will whisper to myself, "I will own such a vehicle!"
Besides thinking positive thoughts and believing we will get whatever we ask for, it is important that we cultivate gratitude for what we already have. Gratitude is absolutely the way to bring more into our lives. Whatever we think and thank about, we bring about.
Rhonda Byrne goes on to state that the law of attraction works best when we live in the moment and enjoy our work. We should therefore do what we love and feel good now. As one successful man quoted in the book quips, "If it ain't fun, don't do it!"
The Secret has deepened my faith in the Bible, for all that Rhonda Byrne writes in the book is found in the Bible. In his epistles for instance, St. Paul implored us to always be thankful and to think only that which is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy.
Then in Mark 11:24, Jesus urged us that "whatever we ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be yours." And in Ecclesiastes 3:22, King Solomon pointed out that "nothing is better for a man than to enjoy his work because that is his lot."
About the only thing I didn't agree with Rhonda Byrne in the book was her suggestion that we keep away from the media because of the bad news often reported. I personally enjoy reading the newspapers and the calamities I read about make me more grateful for my blessings.
All in all, I enjoyed reading The Secret and gave it a 5-star rating on Goodreads.com, a social networking site for avid readers. The book was worth its weight in gold. And my main take-away message from it was that I deserve all the good things life has to offer. Ciao!
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed reading the above story on book review of The Secret, you might also enjoy another book review of As a Man Thinketh which I wrote last year. Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the review.