Let me start my new year like this. With a disputable analogy. Namely, Christ did not die selflessly. Before you get angry with me. Let me inform you that it is the Bible that says so. Not me.
It says in Hebrews 12:2 – “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who FOR THE JOY THAT WAS SET BEFORE HIM, ENDURED THE CROSS, despising the shame, and is SET DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF THE THRONE OF GOD.” This verse may not have been interpreted to you in the manner I am trying to do now, that is why I earlier called it a disputable analogy.
There was a price waiting ahead that motivated Christ. First was the Joy that was awaiting him. Every winner has a taste of that joy. If you have ever won before, you know what that joy feels like. The joy of standing in the middle of the Olympic podium with a gold medal on your neck is not in the marketplace. It is earned. Then the biggest trophy was to win the chance to sit at the right hand of the throne of God. Tell me what motivation can be bigger than that? What other price could have been greater?
This is not to diminish the fact that Christ died for love. My position does not put that forward. Christ died for love. I am saying that it was not selfless love. The benefits derived from the death of Christ were also shared with Christ. He derived that ultimate joy that was awaiting him and also earned an exclusive place at the right hand of the throne of God, and that automatically separates the ‘less’ from the self-less.
Why am I belaboring myself to draw your attention to this? It is because I need you, (particularly the younger persons and my own contemporaries who are still knocking on other doors for upliftment. I mean all of us unless others.), to put a price tag on everything you plan to do in 2024 unless charity and deliberate sacrifice.
Don’t be self-righteous about it this year. Be bold about it. Find a method to commoditize your value and calibrate your price tag. Also, be ready to deliver as promised. It is because you can deliver as promised, that should qualify you to earn. Don’t go scamming people. Christ is not a scammer.
I am trying to say that, it is also Christ-like to ask for a price wherever you are offering a service that another person can be paid for. For instance, if you are playing an instrument in a church choir or even offering professional ushering or catering or medical services in a church or doing an apprenticeship and your boss or organization is using you or your time for other services that are not part of your apprenticeship.
Be deliberate about it in 2024. I repeat, don’t be self-righteous about it. Civilizations have not been built by righteousness, but have been sustained by the fear of God. We cannot turn Jesus into a transaction but in our transactions, we can draw lessons from his example. He is not just an example of righteousness and sacrifice, he is also an example of self-pricing.
In 2024, politicians are not going to change and turn to nice guys. Preachers are not going to stop scamming you. The economy is not going to get friendlier, prices are not going to come down. It is you who must earn more. I hope you heard that last line. Read it again!
Anything you are doing for free presently that another person can be paid money for the same thing, reevaluate it and price it properly then put a price tag on yourself anytime you are required to perform that same service in 2024. You can give discounts at your discretion, there will always be free days, but let the person or organization know how much money you are losing so they will more properly appreciate your value.
Do it boldly. Do it deliberately. Do it professionally. Do it with a straight face. Do it with the fear of God. Those who want it free know you can be paid. They know they are taking advantage of you. They are paying others. It is you that hasn’t put a price on yourself and that’s not how you should roll in 2024!
Citizen Agba Jalingo is the Publisher of CrossRiverWatch and a rights activist, a Cross Riverian, and writes from Lagos.
NB: Opinions expressed in this article are strictly attributable to the author, Agba Jalingo, and do not represent the opinion of CrossRiverWatch or any other organization the author works for/with.