KNOWING ONE’S IDENTITY: A KEY REQUIREMENT FOR LIVING A SUCCESSFUL LIFE (PART FOUR): THE NEED TO DEVELOP SELF

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The thrust of this fourth article on the necessity of knowing one’s true identity in light of who God is and his plan for one’s life, is on self-discovery and development. It is one thing to answer the significant question, “Who am I” and quite another thing to answer the question, “How do I make the most of myself?” The question switches from “Who am I” to “How do I? The questions this article will seek to attend to are: “How do I make the most of my talents and abilities?” “How do I wisely manage my time and opportunities for the betterment of myself and others”? “How do I prepare myself for tomorrow and the years ahead?” “How do I turn my liabilities and misfortunes into assets and fortunes”? “How do I develop and maintain relationships that benefit me and others?” Let us explore these and the like. The third article on “Who am I”, observed the following points:

Now come the questions, “Who am I?” and “Who are you?” The Bible says every human being is made in the likeness and image of God. This means I am a creature and you are a creature. Therefore you and I do not know everything. We have limited power, knowledge and control over a lot of things. We each have dignity from God but are limited and have confines and boundaries within which to operate.

I am special and so is everybody else. I have a loving Creator who knows all about me and yet loves and cares for me in spite of my weaknesses. With him all things are possible for me. He wants me to live better and do better but also for me to help others live better and do better. I must not be arrogant and rude to others though I may need to correct them when they go wrong as much as they may need to correct me when I go wrong.

Who am I? What is my relationship with my God and Sustainer? What is my purpose on earth? What should be my particular contributions to life? These questions should concern any normal person and should be answered on a serious, honest, personal level. Each person needs a reliable and dynamic relationship with his/her God. This relationship has to be intimate, progressive and dependable. Life is too hard and full of uncertainties and surprises to be lived without a higher Power to enable and give meaning to all of the intricacies of living.

The purpose of each life on earth is therefore to glorify (real worship) God and to enjoy God and his gifts around. This in short means to use one’s talents, abilities, opportunities and challenges to influence life positively. The Bible and religious experts believe that each person has a unique place and a contribution to make to life. Human being is so special to God that each one has a peculiar role and contribution to make that no one else can. It is therefore in everyone’s interest to discover that unique gift (s) or place in life and use every opportunity to develop, harness and use it wisely for God’s glory, one’s good and the good of others.

To develop is to do better, make progress, and to move to the next level in life. This article is offered against the background that life as a whole is a precious gift from the Creator and as such is an opportunity that can be turned into success or that can be wasted. The ELBS former boss, Ambrose Mah, once said (perhaps quoting from someone else) ‘You are the architect of your own life”. That means among other things that each person is responsible for success or failure in life. In large measure each person determines the overall outcome of his or her life.

From a Christian perspective life is a priceless gift from God who is the ultimate architect of all of life but who requires human cooperation to fulfill the purpose for each life. God has created humans with a freewill and will not force anyone to be what she/he does not want to. We need God and God requires our cooperation to make success out of us. We need God’s grace, natural resources (air, vegetation, sunshine, rain etc), protection, guidance and power to achieve so many things. But God requires our cooperation to achieve his purposes for us and the world. So many good things cannot be done unless people avail themselves and take advantage of the opportunities around them by turning them into assets that can benefit self and others.

It is therefore incumbent upon every person to seek ways to make something good out of his/her life of whatever kind. It is incumbent upon each normal person to find creative ways to develop socially, spiritually, economically, psychologically and mentally at all times, to make the most of the time allotted to each one over one’s life time as well as various opportune-times, and to turn one’s problems, challenges and disasters into things that work in one’s favor for the good of self, others and God’s glory. This means having plenty of simple, deep faith, common sense and determination to know when to quit and when and how to carry on till goals and dreams are focused, refocused and achieved. In all this one must factor eternity into all that one thinks and does and live a God-conscious and God-influenced life.

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