The Prodigal Son – Impulsive and Compulsive Living

When studying the prodigal son, we’ve looked at the benefits of Family Unity and the secrets of the The 6 P’s of Wealth. We also deliberated on the years of the Lean Cows, which are, sometimes, inevitable in a man’s life and the need for self-humility before external circumstances force you to be humble.

Finally, we’ll be talking about impulsive and compulsive living.

When he came to his senses . . .

Text: Luke 15:17

Lesson 6: Don’t be pressured into impulsive and compulsive living

The prodigal son, after he got his share of his father’s wealth, went on a rampage and spent all he had been given impulsively and compulsively. A lot of the pressure would have definitely come from his friends and people he was trying to impress. After all he was squandered, he was left alone to come back to his senses.

  • There are two key portions involved in decision-making in the brain. They are the amygdala, which is responsible for impulsive behavior and the prefrontal lobe, which analyzes and moderates behavior.

Animals and reckless people usually operate at the amygdala level of the brain, while very disciplined people (have trained themselves, overtime, to) have very functional prefrontal lobes to regulate their actions, appetites, emotions, etc.

  • Some social scientists believe that less than 5% of the population actually think by themselves; 95% hardly think independently, and if they do, they might even die . . . It sounds funny.

Sometime ago, our young girls were busy opening their bums in the name of “low-waist” trousers or skirts and you see them struggling to pull their blouses over their bums. Today, there is a new trend called “high-waist” that looks like corsets.

People usually do most things out of “follow follow” mentality.

  • You must do a cost-benefit analysis, no matter how little it is, before you make any expenditure.

I have traveled by first-class flights twice. One was from Nairobi to Antananarivo. Even though we boarded before others, the plane waited for the last passenger before we took off. We landed at the same time and ended up in the same bus that took us to the terminal building. The difference was not really worth the cost. For a businessman like me, I’m yet to grow into that level. I will use the difference to buy a few bags of cement. First-class nor dey finish; I go enter later.

Why will you house a girl in your room as an undergraduate? What will you do when you are married?

Must you, as a struggling pastor, travel in a convoy with several assistants to preach and bring undue burden on your host?

Must you as a young pastor host a “great” man of God and end up with debts and financially task your members?

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I have learnt not to be pushed or pressured by people to do things which are not beneficial to me. That’s why I don’t join clubs. I wear what I can afford. At the end, I will personally give account of my life. My journey is different from your own; my level is not the same as yours.

A guest preacher requested for a chartered flight costing Two Million Naira. For the same program I paid Two Thousand Five Hundred Naira for transport to preach. Our cities are only 30 km apart; I preached on Friday and he preached on Saturday. That Saturday I flew to Lagos, Lagos to Nairobi, Nairobi to Madagascar, Madagascar to Nairobi . . . Nairobi to Juba in South Sudan and South Sudan to Nairobi and back to Lagos for just about Three Hundred and Ten Thousand Naira. Compare that to the 40-minutes-chartered flight costing Two Million Naira. That Two Million Naira will go a long way towards building Petra Institute. The man in this picture is very rich. As I was teaching on wealth in his church, he bowed his head to reflect at one point. Ironically, the poor were busy talking, outside.

Humble Yourself Before Circumstances Humble You – The Prodigal Son

First, we looked at the importance of Family Unity and the effects of Desperation/Impatience. We then went on to consider The 6 P’s of Wealth and dangers of riotous and wasteful living. Lastly on the series, we looked at the years of the Lean Cows. We continue on the series of the Prodigal Son with the next lesson.

Text: Luke 15:15-16.

Prior to the events in the above passage, the prodigal son must have allowed the wealth of his father get into his head. The resultant effect was him longing for the food of pigs he was to look after.

Lesson 6: Humble yourself before circumstances humble you.

Pride and prodigality go together.

It is always best to humble yourself, accordingly, before the rough circumstances of life do that.

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When I sold our hospital and came to Ughelli, Delta State, from Aba in Abia State, I had kill all the illusions and delusions of being a former medical director of my own practice. I was ready to start from scratch.

I shut my ears to all the critics and mockers. I carried concrete in the school site, when we were building, to save cost. I acted as security man; I drove the school bus; I washed the toilets of the school.

My wife would usually sit outside selling books in the sun as the wife of the guest speaker when I was invited to preach.

DON’T DO MAMA AND PAPA AS PAUPERS.

BIG MAN NOR BE TITLE . . . NA EVIDENCE OH.

We collected the off-cut scrap paper from a printing press to resell to other people to pay school fees.

Because I had no money to pay workers, I personally cut the trees to form the road to the school site. Today we pay more than 72 workers monthly.

My wife would go and make garri from her mother’s cassava farm and some of my in-laws will mock her saying that “those who are educated, now fry garri“. My cassava farm fed us with more than enough garri for a year in 2014

One of my in-laws even called me a fake doctor.

None of those that cruelly mocked me can enter where God allows me to enter today. Ironically, I don’t pay for such privileges. My past has paid the price and now I get the prize.

We went through all the “humiliating” periods to conserve money to build a greater future. A few days back one young man who was very rude to me back in the time when things were very rough came to apply as a driver in my school.

If the prodigal son had remained humble under his father and elder brother and was ready to work, he would not have gone so low as to look after pigs and hunger after hog food.

I live at a level that I cannot fall below. I live on the floor level . . .

Where were all the friends of the prodigal son when he was with pigs? Most of those you want to impress when things are good will abandon you when the chips are down.

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I always wonder why people will wait until retirement before they want to farm or rear animals and do one business that so-called “illiterates” do. Why don’t you do them on part-time and grow those businesses before retirement?

If a young man starts with a few pigs at 25 years of age, at 50 he would have become very rich. A young man with 20 beehives at 25 years and grows them to 100 hives when he is 40 will be a multimillionaire, by then, from honey production not to talk of bee wax. It’s slow and steady like the Ant’s Philosophy, but the results are always greater in contrast to the proprietor.

Jesus humbled himself; even though men humiliated him, God glorified Him.

In the next post, we’ll be looking at Impulsive and Compulsive Living.

If you are blessed by this share it.

God bless You.

The Lean Cows Are Not Far Away – The Prodigal Son

In the previous posts on the prodigal son we’ve looked at the importance of Family Unity and The 6 P’s of Wealth. We continue with Lesson 5 from the prodigal son.

Text: Luke 15:13 (KJV)

I have said frequently that income is a spring, while wealth is a lake.

Lesson 5: The lean cows are not far away

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The water body behind me in the picture is the Myponga Dam near Adelaide in South Australia. I was there in January 2015.

The Myponga water reservoir was formed from a stream and only 30 inches of rainfall per year. That’s less than 3 inches a month. By just blocking the stream and regulating the flow, a reservoir was built. Constructions began in 1958 and was completed in 1962.

You must, while you are young, build multiple streams of income, no matter how small they are.

People usually come to think that I am intelligent when I speak; but that’s not true. I have been collecting bits and pieces of knowledge for years, even when I was in a mud house with lanterns in Okere, Warri.

I have been picking and stockpiling experiences from different sources over the years.

Sometimes, I ‘steal’ with my eyes like Hamilton Naki, the Black man that participated in the first heart transplant (which is, sometimes, controversial) with Dr. Christian Bernard without going to medical school. He learnt by observation and stealing with his eyes. The records were hidden during the apartheid era, but in 2003 he was given an honorary medical degree from the University of Cape Town. Although he was born to a poor family in the village of Ngcingane in South Africa, he received a lot of public recognition after his retirement and death.

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When you are young, try as much as possible to accumulate knowledge.

I was recently paid per hour for speaking for 8 hours in 8 days. I will not tell you how much it amounted to. When I was buying books while I had just 2 pairs of shoes, my wife probably could not understand

Write as many books as you can write when you are young.

Make as many connections as possible early in life and as you go along in life. They have the potential to form your net worth in future.

There is a period of boom in life represented by fat cows in the dream that Joseph interpreted for Pharaoh. However, the years of lean cows also come.

Today, I could not go to work because I needed to rest. Some years back I could preach in 3 different churches in a day. I could stay awake and write books over several nights. I could do several days of night vigils. Today, I can’t do that.

Several of the churches that I used to preach in no longer invite me. Some of them might not even call you after preaching to check if you arrived home safely, then. So I had learnt to manage my time and resources well.

My wife would tell me then, “Let’s build our base so that later in life we will not need to travel or work unless we need to”. It was a wise suggestion and, today, it has come to pass.

Old age is expensive. You will need to build a house (or several), train children in universities, sponsor your children’s weddings, bury aged parents and pay health bills in some cases. When you see a good looking old man, who is well educated sometimes, doing menial jobs in old age, in some cases, the years of fat cows were not well managed.

Build a reservoir or reserve just in case of a famine or opportunity.

If Nigeria had managed the oil windfall well and built a large foreign reserve and a good industrial, educational, and health sector, the fall in price of oil would not affect us the way it has now.

Many oil company workers, politicians, doctors, engineers, and high-paid professionals don’t usually manage the years of fat cows well and it breeds a disastrous scenario when the lean cows finally show up.

In the next post on the prodigal son, we’ll look at the need to humble yourself before circumstances do it.

Lessons from the Prodigal Son – The 6 P’s of Wealth

In the first post on the Prodigal Son, we looked at how he broke the protective covering of family unity and how his actions depicted impatience and desperation.

Text: Luke 15:13

The prodigal son was given money but he was not wealthy. The sudden possession of money was in objection to the law I call the 6 P’s of Wealth.

Lesson 3: Principles, Philosophies, Plans, Practices, Processes, Procedures come before Possessions and Proceeds.

The 6 P's

He must have been born when the wealth had already been created, so he did not know the 6 P’s on how the wealth was created. Why? If he knew he how to, he would have increased his assets despite the famine. Boaz and Isaac did in their time.

He hurriedly left home and his master without detailed plans and preparations. That’s a great recipe for disaster.

Most people who work for only salaries can hardly be like their employers or masters because they work for money instead of meaning. You must deliberately seek to know why your employer is rich—his/her philosophies and principles. Understudy his 6 P’s of life and wealth, then you can replicate them in your life.

I learnt part of my style of biblical analysis by listening to Papa Benson Idahosa. My attitude to ministry was gleaned from Bishop Basil Edohasim. I learnt about running schools and dissimulation from Brother Emma Okorie and from Bishop David Oyedepo I learnt how to produce water from rocks.

Many people who retire from oil companies and banks find it difficult to cope after a few years because they did not know the 6 P’s of wealth. Many of those who won lotteries were broke within six years.

Very few businesses in the south-south of Nigeria and most of Africa ever pass from one generation to the other because we want to substitute our University education for the principles of Creating Wealth. Many of these children end up selling the wealth of their fathers instead of building enduring family businesses.

They are not properly taught in our Universities, else, our professors would not be collecting bribes from our students.

Remember that after the father shared his wealth he did not become poor. He used the 6 P’s—he knew—to produce more wealth before the prodigal son returned; that was why he was able to throw a big feast when his lost son came back.

Lesson 4: Don’t be drawn into riotous and wasteful living.

Text: Luke 15:13 (KJV)

There are great differences between a demonstration and a riot. Demonstrations are peaceful, organized, controlled, purposeful, non-destructive, and has a leadership. Riots, on the other hand, might be spontaneous, unplanned, unorganized, violent, destructive, uncoordinated and might just be difficult to control. The prodigal son was making a statement, but it was in a riotous manner; his life after he got his share was all the qualities of a riotous life.

He also lived a wasteful life—he spent his money and possessions on unprofitable things.

Some bitter truths from this lesson include:

1. It is very easy to spend money you have not worked for.

Many of us, pastors, cultivate lifestyles we cannot sustain if we are working for the money ourselves. Each time I am given an honorarium, I never see it as what I deserve. I see it as a trust fund that I must multiply for my grandchildren to see the outcome. Most of the financial gifts I have received in ministry, I have invested very prudently. For more than 4 years now, I have bought land with such monies that today, we have close to forty acres for a tertiary institution.

I went with my friends to preach about 15 years back and we were given some money; they immediately bought electronics with theirs. I published books with mine. I am still making profit from those books; I’m very certain those electronics have expired now.

2. Control your appetite for sex, food, fashion, cars and speed, drinks, etc.

I had a friend who will eat eba (garri), then take cornflakes and top it up with bread. He will open a box of fruit juice, a bottle of malt drink, and yogurt, all, at the same time. He would even sleep and leave some of them. He had several shoes, suits, and very expensive perfumes. Meanwhile, I would save my drinks, freeze my remaining food and take home to my family. I wore only Ankara clothes made in Nigeria and an Aba-made perfume that sold for 450 Naira. I had only 2 pairs of shoes for many years, no pair of suits, and no ties, but I was saving and investing. Today, the story has changed.

3. You cannot be the chief launcher in every program or occasion.

You must not make vows under pressure. Your trading capital must be different from your personal expenses account. I know a brother who lived a riotous giving life without control or regulation. He became broke and his business collapsed. The brethren abandoned him and he ran to hide in another church.

4. You cannot attend every seminar, crusade, funeral, marriage, night vigil, and conference.

As godly and good as they are, find time for yourself, your family, wife, kids, and your business. If you are not doing that, you are living a riotous life.

5. You can not belong to every fellowship group on campus.

You must remember why you are wherever you are. You cannot belong to every good group; you cannot give your time to every call that requests it. We only have so many resources—time, energy, emotions, etc.—to spend and they must be spent wisely.

6. Our Christianity does not have to be riotous.

I discovered, overseas, that churches are not allowed to disturb their neighbourhood with their prayers. Pentecostalism, from our banners to our themes and preaching, has become very riotous and wasteful. You can listen to a whole message and spend 5 hours in church; at the end, it is like a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. We must not run riotous and wasteful churches. The enemies of the church are better organized.

7. Plan for the future from youth.

Don’t spend your youthful life travelling from nation to nation, holidaying, or even preaching without any tangible plan for the future. Live an organized, purposeful, planned, regulated, and profitable life.

Always have the future in view just like the picture below.

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Also, take the little pieces of your life to form a great picture like the aboriginal painting I stood on in the picture.

Jesus was a very organized and frugal person. He collected 12 baskets of leftovers. The era of riotous and wasteful life is over in your life in Jesus name amen.

You do not need to agree with what I have written today. Time is always a good witness.

In the next post on the Prodigal Son, we’ll be looking at the lean cows are not far ahead.

Lessons From The Prodigal Son – Family Unity

We are all familiar with the story of the prodigal son. In these series of posts, I’d be looking at some peculiar lessons we can glean from his experiences.

Main Text: Luke 15:11-13

Genesis 13:1-3, 34:1-2, 38:1-30

LESSON 1:  He broke family unit and unity

One of the potent tricks of the devil is to make an individual break away from the protective influence of a Godly family or a Godly fellowship.

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When Buffaloes migrate in East Africa they migrate as a group with the big males and females at the front, sides, and rear. It’s a tactical formation to provide high security to those most susceptible to danger. Lions who want to attack also hunt in a group. However, as long as the buffaloes migrate as a group the young ones in the middle are safe. The trick and strategy the predators use is scattering the formation of herd and trapping the one that is alone or has migrated from the herd.

When Sardines migrate in South Africa, they migrate as a group because they have sensors on their sides that make them move together. Sharks and whales have monocular vision; this makes them see the shoal of sardines as a singular large creature and are scared of it. Immediately some rascally sardines break from the school of sardines, a predator can see their smallness and gulp them.

When a child runs from home he or she becomes vulnerable. The protective covering of the family no longer becomes available to such a child.

When a husband or wife abandons his/her family he/she will usually create more problems for the kids and themselves. This can adversely affect the kids for a long time to come. Children who grow up in homes where the parents are together statistically do better than those from single homes.

Don’t prematurely break ranks from your mentor or master. It is better to be sent forth with grace and blessings than to take off on your own.

Don’t abandon goodly principles and practices of a family to pursue fantasies. How good is it for brethren to dwell together in unity—Psalm 133 :1-3.

Breaking a church might temporarily benefit you but might eventually separate you from God.

LESSON 2:  Desperation/Impatience

The prodigal son prematurely demanded for his share of the wealth. He was not even the eldest. He was not yet married, so he must have been quite young.

There are some things you are entitled to; however, you have to please learn to wait for the title rights before you claim them. That a mango tree belongs to you does not mean you should eat unripe mangoes; it is much wiser and safer—health-wise—to be patient till they get ripe. That you have done an introduction ceremony does not mean you are married. Don’t start indulging in premarital sex because you are an adult.

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Don’t be in a hurry to be called Papa and Mama or any other big title; these titles come with age, time, experience, and influence.

Don’t be in a hurry to be a BIG BOY and live a fake life of simulation. Elephants get pregnant for 22 months and deliver while rats get pregnant for 21 days.

Many young men are in a hurry to grow their ministries after attending a conference organised by a great Pastor. To be successful as he is, you have to find out the process it took him to get where he is, not the testimonies of today alone. Mushrooms mature in 6 hours but Oaks take 60 years.

We are too impatient in Nigeria; we hate to follow due process; you can see it in the way we drive in our cities.

Medical training and the realities of life have taught me patience.

What I cannot become today, I will, someday. Even if I don’t, life goes on.

The water you will fetch in a river is always there.

In the next post, we’ll look at the 6 P’s of wealth that the prodigal son missed.