And the Lord said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward.” (Gen.13:14 KJV)
My literature teacher in my final year at the Seminary inspired me to love literature to the point of nearly influencing me to choose literature as my preferred course of study in the University.
Furthermore, he was my mum’s classmate in school and from my maternal home, which strengthened our relationship and my love for him and the subject he taught.
My love for my teacher and his subject made me to take note of all he said in class and outside class. It did pay off because I was his best student. One poem he discussed with us with relish, though it was not in our syllabus was “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” This poem was written by Samuel Taylor Coleridge and originally published in 1798.
The central theme of the poem is the albatross on the neck of the ancient mariner. Initially, he thought the albatross was a blessing: Take a meditative look at this verse of that poem.
“At length did cross an Albatross,
Thorough the fog it came;
As if it had been a Christian soul,
We hailed it in God’s name.”
Howbeit, when the ancient mariner realised it was a curse that was hanging on his neck and not a cross as he supposed aforetime, he mused and said,
“Ah! well a-day! what evil looks
Had I from old and young!
Instead of the cross the Albatross
About my neck was hung.”
Some relationships like albatross are weights, unprofitable, limiting and worse still, malevolent. Like the case of the ancient mariner, they come disguised, innocuous and as helpers of our joy but in the short run they could lead you to unrighteous living, impede your speed, promote mediocrity, attempt to kill your joy and sap your energy and resources.
At some point in my life I had to review my relationships. And I was surgical in my approach to the issue. I didn’t withhold the scalpel of good riddance in ridding myself of every unholy and unprofitable relationship. Although it may have cost huge resources – financial, material and time, but what matters to me is my glorious destiny. Despite the seeming losses, I gained my glorious destiny in Christ.
Therefore, we need to take a more earnest heed to our relationships because of its impact to our destinies. Who you follow or who follows you determines what follows you. Our text above reflects this lesson. Abram couldn’t receive the full vision of his destiny until Lot was extricated from him. On the other side, Isaiah couldn’t see visions as a major prophet until his mentor King Uzziah died. (Isaiah 6:1)
Here are 3 spirited measures to adopt in the overall management of your relationships going forward.
1. Be Discerning!
Ask God for the Spirit of discernment to discern between genuine and destiny wrecking relationships. Test all spirits! Those who are not spiritually mature may trust their intuition though not perfect. Hence, the need to train your spirit to hear from God. Be aware and beware!
2. Be Deliberate and Selective in Your Choice.
Love everybody but abode with the right persons. Guard your space to accelerate your pace! Your space is not for everybody. Be deliberate and selective in choosing what I call the Oligarchy of Destiny Helpers.
3. Pray Against Strange Relationships.
Nothing strangulates destiny like relationships with strangers. It’s better to be a lone ranger than to stray with strangers. The Psalmist prayed, “Rid me, and deliver me from the hand of strange children…” (Psalm 144:11)
God is ever ready to help us when we call upon Him in prayers.
To your most fruitful and rewarding relationships,