A newly wedded pastor’s wife went to attend to a church member as she was about delivering a baby. While the pastor’s wife tried to encourage and charge the awaiting mother in the delivery process, she burst out; “You don’t know how it feels. Have you been pregnant before?” The pastor’s wife went home sad. When she got home, the husband encouraged her but subtly told her that life was just demanding what she had been through. She got the message.

Friend, life will always ask you what you have been through (Psalms 66:10-12). No matter how much you know about pregnancy, there are some counsels and help you cannot give to a pregnant woman if you have not been pregnant before. Although the pregnant woman in our opening story was not mocking the newly wedded pastor’s wife; she just spoke out of her pain. But her response captures how people see you when you attempt to take them where you have not been.

The best counsel you can ever give people will come out of your personal experience (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). A lot of people today are mere theoretician, not practitioners. How can you be teaching people how to be a millionaire when you are still in debt? How can you educate pastors on how to run and grow a church when you have not pastored one before? Listen, it is easy to talk, but difficult to do. Some social media commentators are simply lazy folks hiding behind the keypads.

When you have been through stuff, you would know how to talk to others (Job 6:25). Anyone can throw words around, but it takes someone who has been through the process to show wisdom and discretion in dealing with people (Colossians 4:6). Jesus could pass for our faithful high priest because he went through all we are presently going through (Hebrews 4:14-16). He could lead with empathy.

The easiest way to influence people is to succeed in your own personal life. If it has not worked in your private life, why attempt to take it public (1 Samuel 17:34-37)? Leadership is first about doing, not teaching (Acts 1:1). Don’t call yourself a life coach when you have made not made something meaningful out of your own life. Young people, the energy you use to counsel and have an opinion on every issue, use that same energy to succeed. That way, people will hear you more than you want to be heard.

Let me ask you again, “Have you been pregnant before?” What are you pregnant with? What vision are you running your life with (Habakkuk 2:1-3)? It takes a visionary to understand another man’s vision and give timely counsels and help (Luke 1:36-45). Don’t let those who have not carried a vision to fulfilment tell you how to go about yours. You need those who have been where you are planning to be (1 Samuel 10:3-6). You need people who are a picture of your future. May your Mary meet her Elizabeth today! Amen!

‘Demola Awoyele
Lead Pastor,
Destiny Impact Church
Akure, Nigeria