Overcoming Unhealthy Dependency
By Rev. Josphat G. Charagu
In one way or another, we all find ourselves depending on others. There is a saying which states that, “No man is an island”. This means that we all need each other. However, the extent to which we rely on others can make or break us. Any kind of reliance that leaves a person completely dependent on others is dangerous. It is unhealthy. It takes away the belief that one can be self-reliant and rely only on God. If all the people who support you today withdrew their support, would you still remain on your feet? If your husband / wife, your children, your boss, your friend or any other person who supports you is no longer available for you, would your life continue as usual?
“No Man Is An Island”
All over the world, including the developed countries, many people find themselves trapped in unhealthy dependency which ends up making them slaves and victims of hopelessness and desperation. Unfortunately, this unhealthy dependency starts slowly and innocently in the lives of its victims and before they realize it, it is already a force within themselves that they can hardly control. The African continent is the hardest hit by this epidemic.
The church in general and the missionaries in particular have played a very big role in this enslavement to unhealthy dependency. This explains why many churches cannot survive on their own. They must rely on foreign aid and foreign personnel to run their affairs. If the church as an institution is not self reliant, what about its followers? A follower is usually not better than the one leading him. This shows exactly how the ordinary Christian is enslaved by unhealthy dependency. This further explains why many Christians are hardly successful in their day-to-day lives. The consequence of the above situation is the stagnation of African Christian churches and their followers. Many church ministers and leaders rush to the western countries in search of assistance while leaving behind a lot of resources at their disposal back in Africa.
To understand these teachings clearly, I will start with some definitions. I have also borrowed a lot from Rev. Glenn Schwartz’s book, “When Charity Destroys Dignity”. This book is very comprehensive on the dangers of unhealthy dependency, and I highly recommend that you get a copy and read it. It will greatly challenge and change your life. Rev. Glenn is the founder and Executive Director Emeritus of Five Stones Global and a campaigner against unhealthy dependency. [Continue reading…]
STEPS TOWARDS SELF-RELIANCE
By Rev. Josphat G. Charagu
1. Decide to be Self-reliant
2. Know Your Destiny
The destiny of every individual is in his or her own hands. God enables you to get to your destination. You must therefore know exactly where you want to go and what you want to have in life. If you do not have a destiny, you will spend your lifetime helping other people get to their destiny. What do you want to achieve in life? How far do you want to go? What is your destiny?
3. Commit it to God
Once you have decided what your destiny should be, you need to commit it to God. He will give you directions and guidance on how to accomplish it. He will also give you his favor and the enablement to be successful in your journey towards your destiny. Have you committed your destiny to God? Are you doing what God is blessing or you are forcing God to bless what you are doing?
4. Take Charge of Your Destiny
Some people know their destiny but they have not taken charge of it. They want other people to help them get to their destiny. These people forget that other people have their own destiny, and they are busy working toward it. Who is in charge of your destiny? If you are not in charge of your destiny, do not expect success. In the fear of the Lord, take charge of your destiny today.
5. Give it a Time Frame
Anything that doesn’t have a time frame is not likely to be accomplished. A time frame lets you know whether you will be late or not in arriving. You should know what you want to do when. A long journey should be divided into smaller portions for it to be easy to finish. Have you divided your destiny into small manageable portions? Apply the “divide and rule” principle and you will succeed.
Strategize without a strategy, you can never achieve anything. Most of the people who fail in life are victims of trying to achieve something without a strategy. Once you know where you want to go, you must come up with a way of getting there. A strategy helps you to go the full journey psychologically and mentally even before you take the first physical step. It also helps you to foresee the possible obstacles or challenges and prepare to face them. With a strategic plan, one is also able to evaluate his/her progress along the way. Next time you see signs of failure in your life, re-examine your strategy.
7. Make a Commitment
Commit your mind, time, money and other resources to implement it. Without a long-term commitment, do not expect to succeed. Commitment means being fully prepared and ready to sacrifice anything for the success of a certain goal. A committed person does not need to be pushed to do something. He/she does not withhold anything needed to accomplish something. God was so much committed to our redemption that he could not withhold his own son. Abraham was so much committed to God that he did not withhold his son Isaac when God asked him to sacrifice him. If you are committed to self-reliance or you will not stop until you become fully self-reliant. Be committed to your goal and you will achieve it.
However good a plan is, it can only be achievable and beneficial if it has been started. Anything that has not been started has no guarantee that it will succeed or become a reality. The people who succeed are those who take the first step of faith. We are all proud of Peter because he was bold enough to take the first step onto the water. If he chose to remain in the boat the way the other disciples did, he would not have walked on the water. If you remain on the shores, you will never get the fish at the middle of the sea. The secret to get to wherever you want to go is to take the first step. What is your goal, start moving towards it today. In all this, you must remember that God must be part of all you do. Do not think that your human effort alone will be sufficient to reach your goal.
9. Keep Evaluating Yourself
Without evaluation, you can never know whether you are making progress or not. Lack of evaluation makes a person think he/she is making progress while he may be stagnant or moving backwards. Evaluation is the measure by which we know our progress. It also helps us to know where exactly we need to adjust or change strategy. Evaluation makes a successful person more successful and a person moving to the wrong direction change to the right direction. Keep evaluating yourself.
LOCAL SUSTAINABILITY IN ACTION
Rev. Josphat G. Charagu is an ordained Church Minister and the Secretary General of Patmos Fellowship Churches of Kenya. He is based in Nairobi, Kenya, where he is the Senior Pastor of Patmos Fellowship Church, Githurai. He is also a crusader of overcoming unhealthy dependency in the Church, among individuals and the community at large. He believes that it is possible to overcome the unhealthy and enslaving unhealthy dependency and move to self reliance even among the poorest in the world. He speaks in conferences, workshops, communities among others and has helped many to move from unhealthy dependency to self reliance. Feel free to invite him to your meetings.
Rev. Charagu holds a Masters Degree in Development Studies specializing in Organizational Management and Development, a Bachelor of Divinity degree, a Diploma in Counseling Psychology and a Certificate in Instructor Training. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Development Studies.
His main areas of competence are Organizational Management and Development, Human Resource Development, Community Development, Leadership, Counseling as well as Seminar facilitation and Training.
He is currently the Principal of the Success Institute in Kitengela, Kenya and an Adjunct Lecturer at St. Paul’s University, Limuru. He also does Private Consultancy in Organizational Management and Development.
You can contact him for consultation or for an invitation to speak in your meetings, conferences, institution @ Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +254722860956