I remember a time during my days at KNUST* when we were preparing a Bible study material for the church.
In this particular meeting, we were reviewing an article I had written and in one of the paragraphs was the phrase “…wet your appetites.”
When we got to that line, Papa Ackah immediately said (amidst laughter and continued giggles) that the phrase should read, “whet your appetites” and not what I had written. And the way he took time to spell the word “whet” stung like a bee. This guy can make you wish you were never born.
Anyone who knows this gentleman, Papa Ackah, knows without a doubt that there’s no diplomacy with him when it comes to pointing out stuff like these. Boy! Na m’afɛre sei nanso na mɛyɛ no dɛn?* You know the kind of feeling where you “messop*” and you just want the Earth to open and cover you up…
I just had to accept the correction and move on. It reminds me of a time my dear friend and sister Yvonne Frimpong also didn’t hold back in telling me in a manner that made me so embarrassed that: “it’s ‘made a mistake’ not ‘did a mistake.'” The people God put in my life! Whew!
I’m not sure I resisted their corrections (I leave it to them to confirm if I was that stubborn… :-), but anytime I remember these situations, I realize that we all need such beautiful people at certain points in our lives; friends who will not just say good things about you but friends who are bold enough to tell you to the face when you err. Unfortunately, these are the very kinds of people the majority of us want to avoid because they don’t make us feel good about ourselves all the time.
Sometimes, though we are wrong and we know we are, we want to dictate how these people should correct us in order to escape the embarrassment. If I pick up my notepad to write today, I know that for the rest of my life, I will never again write “wet your appetite.” I know that spelling (‘wet’) isn’t right mainly because of the circumstances that surrounded the way I was corrected.
I can only imagine someone reading any of my articles and seeing such an unfortunate scripting…
The embarrassment cannot be mathematically quantified.
These kinds of spelling and speaking errors may not lead to devastating consequences but there are some errors that can be very damaging and probably threaten our lives. One thing I know is that God will ALWAYS bring in someone to point out your errors so you can turn back and live right. None of these God-sent people are ever diplomatic in their approach. No politically corrected speech. Just high-impact, trigger-pulling commandos who fire immediately and think about consequences later.
We become the best version of ourselves when we accept the ministry of these tough lovers in our lives. They are God’s instruments for our perfection. May the Lord help us deal with the evil spirit of pride. May we be clothed with humility and just like David, may we learn to humble our hearts at the rebuke of the Nathans God sends our way.
We become the best version of ourselves when we accept the ministry of these tough lovers in our lives.
Papa and Yvonne, You guys got away with embarrassing me big time but “ano bore.*” Thank you and God bless you richly.
“All chastening seems for the present to be not joyous but grievous; yet afterward it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been exercised thereby.” Hebrews 12:11 WEB
© Prince A. Poku, June 2020
- *KNUST: Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology
- *Na m’afɛre sei nanso na mɛyɛ no dɛn? : Translated from Twi, “I was embarrassed but what could I do about it?”
- *messop: vernacular for “mess up”
- *ano bore: vernacular for “I’m not bored”
NOTE: I will tag these wonderful people in a post on Facebook. Do check them out there. Thank you.