Christian Fiction: Whether You eat or drink...

"Do you like it?", asked Dora's stylist, staring at her in the mirror.

"Yes, I love it", Dora acknowledged, while trying to adjust her pink and silver, shiny, sequence dress by the hip side and smacking her lips. It was on fleek.

"I just want to pepper everybody at this wedding and let these Lagos boys know I have arrived”, she said reeling out her excitement. Her best friend was getting married and she just wanted to show everybody.

Dora liked to say she was a "baby girl". A "baby girl" might be seen as a young lady that loves to just enjoy life or do what we call flex and just take fine pictures and splash them in perfect mud of beauty on Instagram. A baby girl snatches all the likes on every single social media and she's a sight of what we could call outward perfection. Her heels must match, her eye liner must never leak because of sweat and make her have black eyes, her eye shadow must be perfectly laid, her hair and dress must be on fleek, everything must be aligned. I could go on and on but I hope you get the picture already. Lest I forget, she must never be broke too. Basically, she must never be caught unfresh or unawares. I could think this baby girl thing was a job.

Dora loved the likes and comments she always got. I could say she couldn't do without them. A wedding was approaching and that was another opportunity to do her "thing" again. She was consistent to watch her weight, to diet, to pay attention to everything that would make her more beautiful as the days go by. Dora was in the hospitality team in her church. She loved to place those big and generous smiles out to welcome people every time in church.

She loved who she was and everything she did. Her best friend, Tamara, seemed too reserved and conservative for her. She would always go off on Tamara.

"Babe, come on, we need to make these clothes together. I want you to be on my next photo-shoot with me." There were several moments when she had to say this to Tamara but constantly got a negative response. Tamara always felt her energy never matched Dora's concerning events and going all out to impress and call attention. She was never in the mood or she didn't have the time or she was tired. Dora always thought of her as a "kill-joy" or a major spoiler. They had been friends for 10 years and Dora grew to love her in a wholesome way. She couldn't let some flimsy thing get in between them. She always knew Tamara was like that and always carried Jesus and church on her head.

Next week was her best friend's wedding and naturally she would have been her chief bridesmaid, but she smartly avoided that. When Tamara had asked her the honour, she politely said she would be in the background and supervise everything and made sure things were going well. Tamara felt very touched. She knew Dora's energy was perfect for that job. Deep down the only reason Dora turned down the offer, was because she knew her friend too well and she knew she would say the Holy spirit would decide everything they would wear for the wedding, down to the jewelry and makeup. She didn't want Tamara to kill her joy with some simple style and plain makeup. She knew well to opt out on time.

A week passed, the wedding had come and gone. Her hair stylist, makeup artist and fashion designer came through. She was the talk of the wedding. Everything was on fleek. Even Tamara admired her best friend. She got a lot of "you look stunning, good, beautiful, amazing..." compliments. The "you look good" was even an insult compared to how she looked. She deserved better. After the wedding, she felt so fulfilled and happy. She slept smiling.

A few weeks after the wedding, Dora had a major downturn in her life. She had been planning her wedding too and found out that her supposed fiance was already married and was just deceiving her. It hit her so bad. She didn't imagine that could ever happen to her. She was perfect. Who would want to deceive her or ditch her for another person? She cried and regretted ever knowing him. Tamara had to come stay with her for a week. She encouraged her and prayed with her.

She asked her if she ever prayed about and for the relationship and she said no. It was more of a "picture perfect" relationship than an active fellowship and partnership with someone she loved and God. She wished she had prayed. Tamara encouraged her and told her not to regret but to go back to God and pray more. Dora was reluctant. She was tired of everything. She didn't even care about the likes. She just wanted to stay in bed and cry. After a week, Tamara left back to her husband and Dora had to sit up. 

She started praying. She saw how she never read her Bible and how she was too busy to see that her spirit was doing well. She took a decision to read her Bible more. She was a consultant and worked online and from home so most times, she had her time to herself. A week later a parcel arrived at her doorstep. It was from Tamara. It was a pack of chocolate, her favorite cookies and a book with a note. She took out the book and it was "The pursuit of God" by A.W Tozer the note inside read;

"Men leave but there's one that stayed through even before we knew him. You can find him. And there's one friend that sticks closer than a brother and that's where I come in. I love you my friend, Tamara." 

Her eyes were teary. She was so touched. She smiled as tears made its way, running forward to block her vision. She took the package in and was ready to pounce on the chocolate. She loved chocolate. She wasn't much of a reader but this book that was borne out of love to her, she was going to read it with her whole heart. With the euphoria of everything, she called Tamara to thank her. Tamara went on to gist her about how marriage was so nice and how her husband was the best with the husband and dotting thing and joked about marriage taking all her time and her not having time for single people again. They had a good laugh and Dora was glad. She had not felt like this in weeks.

The next day, her to do list was just the normal everyday thing. She had to get feedback to a client and read her new book. She started out reading the book. At first, she was bored. Really bored and she wanted to stop but there was a push and she continued. She had a fair share of sleep in between the pages but she continued. She pressed till she got to the final chapter, chapter 10. The scripture hit her. 1 Corinthians 10:31 

"1st Corinthians 10.31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. (KJV)" 

Her heart skipped. Was it that deep? Like a Nollywood movie scene, a brief and fast forwarded flashback happened in her head. This scripture was far from her. She didn't take it too seriously. She finished reading the book and was happy she didn't just leave her friend's book lying around. She had committed to reading her Bible. The next day, she opened to 1 Corinthians 10. She had been reading a chapter of 1 Corinthians everyday. She started reading chapter 10. When she got to verse 31, the flashback happened again. She realized she had seen the scripture before and that same thing had happened. She remembered quickly and picked up her "Pursuit of God." She went back to check which chapter said that and she found chapter 10 out. She kept thinking about it.

Later in the day, she called Tamara to discuss with her and they had a long discussion. Tamara explained why she was so meticulous about her life. It didn't belong to her anyway and if even her eating and drinking was supposed to glorify HIM, she treaded carefully. After the call, Dora broke down. Her life was far from that. She remembered, Tamara keeps saying "look to the cross.." in tears she made a decision to read the book again. She set out reading the book and she started seeing what her friend always emphasized, "The Cross". She saw what Christ already did for her. She broke down again. She cried and prayed.

She remembered that everything she did was about her. She came to see and understand that everything she was, was about God. Her life was him and even in the littlest things, it was supposed to be him. Even in eating, in drinking, in having fun, in sleeping, in dressing, in working, everything is supposed to be to his glory and praise. She committed to being very practical in her relationship with God. Everyday she checked her motives for doing everything. Was it to glorify God or set her in the limelight? As the Holy Spirit helped her and grace was made available, she obeyed and walked in the light of the scriptures. Did she make mistakes? Yes she did. But she never stopped. She was constantly looking to calvary and trusting God to help her glorify him because in herself she was wretched and could do nothing.

Tamara never stopped praying for her and they were accountable to each other. The progress and growth they made seemed to be the most beautiful part of their relationship. They committed to praying a prayer they got from studying the book together. "...where life and lips join continually to say "Be thou exalted".." that was their continual prayer. That God takes preeminence in their life and he is always glorified and exalted.

This is not a story of "happily ever after" as Tamara and Dora had a fair share of the tears and being reluctant to obey sometimes. Imagine after you buy a very expensive dress and you just want to "pepper" everybody and the Holy Spirit shows up and is like "who's the boss?, You or me?" The you check your motive and you know it wasn't right after all. Don't get it twisted. The Holy Spirit and God actually prioritizes our looking good. Your motive must just be right. Sometimes it's really painful to reverse our choices and say "whether I eat or drink, God must be glorified" but as we commit to it, grace abounds and you walk through it victoriously. 

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