Last Sunday, I heard about the death of Cameron Boyce and like anyone else whose childhood he was a part of, I was stunned. The child actor, who brought his own special light to Disney by starring in “Jessie” and “Descendants”, passed away on July 6th at the age of twenty. Director, Kenny Ortega, penned a touching tribute describing him as one whose talent was immeasurable, whose kindness and generosity were overflowing and as one who always brought love, laughter and compassion with him. His work in raising thousands of dollars for the Thirst Project, the organisation that aims to provide clean and safe drinking water to developing communities, has been recalled and praised since his passing. His life serves as an inspiration to be and do good. As usual, the news also got me thinking about life and death, but this time in a more positive way. Rather than scare us, knowing that tomorrow is not promised should make us re-evaluate the way we live. How are we living? What is important to us? Who are we living for?

I used to have this personality trait that made me care about what people think and
therefore seek people’s approval. I am thankful for light-bulb moments and the growth that often succeeds such moments. I remember my mum saying to me one day: “If you know how quickly life goes on without you when you are gone, you will not live for other people.” I later heard similar words from Nigerian On Air Personality, Tosyn Bucknor, in an excerpt from her last interview before she passed away late last year. In her words, “In the end, who [are] you living your life for? because when you die, you’re truly going to be by yourself.” I believe that that video was one of the most important things I watched in 2018. Aside from the fact that the beauty of her personality radiated, there was a lot of sincerity in her voice which made me feel the need to reassess my life. Although I still have some way to go, I know I have come a long way and I have found myself caring less about people’s opinions. Truthfully, it is liberating.

My new approach to life is this: I breathe because God wills, I have because God gives and I am because God is. The life that I live does not belong to me or anyone else, it belongs to God. Thus, I only need His approval. I once heard that if you care about people’s approval, you become their prisoner. God has given each and everyone of us freedom in Him; imagine relinquishing that freedom. Try questioning your thoughts and deeds to ensure that you are not living to satisfy or impress anyone. Try living without considerations such as “What would people say?” and “What would people think?”Try being free from within.

You should listen to these songs: Rhythms of Grace-Hillsong United
Here Now-Hillsong Worship

Prayer Request: In this piece I talk about freedom. Though I was talking about freedom to live out one’s true self seeking only God’s approval, I could not help but think of people who are being held in prisons around the world. Today, we’re saying a prayer for the incarcerated, especially those held in inhumane conditions and/or those imprisoned without just cause. May God raise people up to facilitate their freedom and may God bless the work of those already doing so.

Let’s read the Bible together: I’m reading the book of Galatians (Chapters 1-6) this week. Dm me (@mycandleculture) if you are reading too and would like to talk about it!

“For freedom did Christ set us free: stand fast therefore, and be not
entangled again in a yoke of bondage.”-Galatians 5:1

“If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant”-Galatians 1:10

P.S If you ever read a piece that you like, please repost (on insta/snapchat stories)so that more people can read! Thank you xx

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