A man, let me call him Mr. Paul once told me that I am a disappointment to Heaven because I didn’t graduate with a first class. This got me thinking for several days, in fact I still remember the sting of those words. Here is what happened:

(Actually he noticed that I was virtually in the library every day he visited, so one day while we were leaving the library, we had this conversation).

Mr. Paul: What department are you in?

Me: Urban and Regional Planning

Mr. Paul: M.Sc. right?

Me: Yes sir

Mr. Paul: That’s good

Me: Thank you sir

Mr. Paul: I hope your grade was good in your B.Sc.?

Me: Yes, Sir

Mr. Paul: I trust it was a first class?

Me: (Trying to impress him, and hide the internal pains that question brought to my heart).

I came out with a ‘good’ 2.1 sir

Mr. Paul: Good 2.1? What does that mean?

Me: (At this point, I just stood looking like a puppet before him)

Mr. Paul: 2.1 is 2.1 – period!

In that case, God saved me from coming out with a good 2.2 (laughs), because I who came out with a 2.1 on the dot is no different from you who had a 2.1 that is very close to a first class.

Me: (I just had to school my face at this period).

Mr. Paul: During my time, I had to struggle for my school fees (which was only N250 then) and feeding money because my parents were too poor to support me, in fact, I had to carry pon pon (that briclayers pan) for those who were constructing houses.

What were you doing, that made you not to graduate with a first class

Me: Reading non-academic books and engaging in all sorts of personal development.

Mr. Paul: Really? You could have done all those after graduation and come out with a first class so that God would be glorified… as it stands now, you have deprived the angels in heaven, your family and fellowship members of the joy that would have been theirs and yours should you have come out with a first-class… think of it… You’re a disappointment to heaven.

So, now that you are back for your M.Sc., continue reading the way I’ve seen you do, and you would come out with an outstanding result.

Me: Thank you sir.

Mr. Paul: God bless you, let us pray …

Well, initially, I was happy to see someone challenge me to be my best for Christ, but as time went on, my thoughts changed… As in…

I wish he just told me, ‘don’t say a ‘good’ 2.1’ and encourage me to do better the way he eventually did… I tell you I’d have longed to see him more often, but when he said I’m a disappointment to Heaven, like Heaven gave me the resources to be a first-class graduate and I was busy with other things which I could have done after school… I really felt bad. But thank God for the Holy Spirit, my Comforter because Jeremiah 29:11 and Isaiah 60:11-17 were verses He used to encourage me… may be you are reading this post today and have felt the bitter pangs of rejection, the pains of being despised, am here to tell you this moment, “that for brass my GOD will give you gold, for iron, He would give you silver, for wood, He would give you brass, for stones, He would give you iron… the LORD will also make your officers peace, and your exactors righteousness…” You will no more cry again. In Jesus name.

All we need do is learn from our past, and refuse to allow the same mistakes resurface again by taking conscious action!

Lesson I gained from my conversation with Mr. Paul:

Never try to impress people with your past grades. Your past is past. If you had a first class – great! a 2.1 – it’s not bad! a 2.2 – Your life’s impact will not necessarily be determined by your grades… a third class – this is not the end of the journey, a Pass – You’ve not yet failed, as a matter of fact, F.A.I.L means First Attempt In Learning, or you were rusticated or ungraded (no result?) – learn from the failures of your past, but don’t stay there.

In short, I decided that I’d never tell anyone again that I graduated with a good 2.1.

2.1 is 2.1 period!

So, I pray for you that you will receive a grace that is beyond grades! “Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee, the LORD will make you an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations.”




Thanks for reading this post, kindly air your views before leaving. I cherish you all…


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Hello! I am Emmanuel Omenayam Ashibuogwu, but you can call me SALT. I am a Christian writer and lover of youths. My passion is to see God's word transform lives. Time management, personal development and purposeful living are my core interests. My goal for writing is not literary or artistic achievement, but to promote spiritual fruitfulness and an irresistible devotion to our purpose for being on this earth. I am a graduate of the prestigious University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria. A geographer and Urban Planner by profession. I can act different roles in dramas (I hope you are not surprised… lol, well that’s a story for another day). I love to teach and mentor youths through His grace; I am also good at marketing. I advertise, write and of course, PRAY! I would love to meet you all as your lives are being touched for the better, but if we never meet, I pray that my writing would impart vision to your heart, while strengthening your foundation in Christ. See you at the top! You are welcome to my world!!!