Pay the Price and Hug the Prize, Michael Uche Iheanacho, Footprint Media, pp. 107
The book, Pay the Price and Hug The Prize, is one of two books published recently by the author, Bible expositor, and attorney, Michael Uche Iheanacho. Reading through this book and the other, Shaping Up (Lessons in Motives and Attitudes), gives out the author as a talented inspirational writer, largely because of his engaging, forceful and persuasive style. These are evident on the pages of this interesting offering.
I must warn that, notwithstanding the title of the book, which sounds more like one of those motivational books, Pay the Price and Hug the Prize is a piece of Christian literature, loaded with more familiar bible anecdotes and theological teachings. Even within that context, there’s still a prize to be won in taking to heart the various lessons we read in this book.
There are several new revelations in there worth taking to heart. For instance, the author posits on page 6, in the chapter dealing with what he calls the “Rebound Principle,” that “the Rebound principle is a divine character trait in God. It is a tenacious attitude to perform the impossible acts and demystify success mysteries.” Now, you can take that home.
He goes on: “A call to rebound is simply a call to get back-up to where you begin and reach for where you should be”. He comes out vividly that, to achieve anything, you need faith, strength of character, ability to take risk. Everyone needs this kind of motivation at this time of general despondency in the nation.
I take this as a challenge to recalibrate when you feel exhausted and defeated, instead of griping about failure or frustrations; for, there’re tons of problems to get you off track in life, regardless of your level of faith.
For me, the recurrent theme in the entire book is a motivation to keep on fighting against odds that stand between you and your prize. As seen in chapter 4, before you can hug the prize, you need a heart to go on, as “nobody is immune from distressing seasons,” according to the author. He cites the example of Job, a famous bible character who is an epitome of adversity and triumph.
You‘ll find a lot of Bible references in every page of this fascinating book. The author, like most Christian writers, uses scripture to drive home his points. Don’t be surprised if you read a reference to famous rock band, Led Zeppelin, a hint that Pastor Iheanacho is a world-wise fellow.
What’s important, however, is that whether he is using the Shunamite woman, Ananias and Sapphire or Joseph of Arimathea to teach, you’d see his lesson about how to endure adversity.
The author identifies impediments to success –lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and the pride of life. Again, we see Pastor Iheanacho’s wry humour in his use of Necrophilia, the abhorrent, demonic act of making love to the dead to describe the sins of embracing dead – things of the world which a true born again Christian should avoid. He warns Christians should never allow themselves to be the “dumping ground for toxic narratives of the devil”. A timely warning, indeed.
Finally, standing in the way of hugging the prize are what author calls, “the three deadly pit falls” in chapter 9. The most important of these is legalism. This is the bane of Christians. It is what the author calls the application of the law without compassion; truth divorced from mercy; religion without life. Legalism actually originated with the devil.
These are strong grounds to reject legalism. His training as a lawyer gives him a great insight into the legal aspect of the Bible, and Pastor Michael Uche Iheanacho, by his work, teaches deep things beyond motivating his audience to perspire before they can aspire and get the prize of success.