“How are you doing?”

“Hello, how are you doing?” That is often a conversation opener or something we say when we meet people at first and for many of us, one question we generally do not expect a response to.

Well, that assumes that we are beginning a conversation in the first place and not barging in on them like some do with a PING on BBM instead of hello to get one’s attention (that irks me to no end) and I have an aunt who does it just for that reason. I love you auntie 🙂 Anyway, back to the main gist, it takes other forms such as, howdy, which also means, ‘how are you doing?’


how are you

My pastor once told a story of how at a service, you know how you are encouraged to exchange pleasantries with the person next to you and smile and make them welcome just before the service begins or in the course of the service? A young man was sitting next to a lady and in response to the pastor’s call to reach out to one’s neighbor, the lady said to the young man next to her ‘how are you doing?’ as she reached out to shake his hand and he responded ‘I’m dying’ and she said in response ‘Praise the Lord’. He said to her, ‘I said, I’m dying’, and she said ‘Hallelujah’. Clearly, she wasn’t listening, she wasn’t asking ‘how are you?’ because she wanted to know how he was doing, for her, it was just a salutation, one for which no meaningful response was expected.


If we take some time to slow down and care, asking ‘how are you’ and waiting for the response, a means is provided to see beyond the fake smile and the sadness masked by the hearty inflexion in the voice. We can all reach out a little more with some more attention to those we care about, even the strangers in our immediate environment when we ask that question. Many times, the solution to someone’s problem lies with you and it may cost you nothing. Something that you can easily do away with may be the long awaited answer to another’s prayer. Will you find out how your neighbor is doing today?

However, much more than that, we ought to take out a few quiet minutes to ask ourselves that question. How is the real ‘me’ doing?  Paul encourages us to conduct a self-examination. Now, this examination is not to encourage one to live a works based life, nor is it to inspire a guilt trip. Truth is that we will never be all God intends for us to be if we attempt to do it on our own.  However, we can rest in the grace of God as evidenced in the finished work and an understanding that without God’s help we are nothing.

self examination

First, how is Christ in me? Paul the apostle says we ought to know how Christ is in us (2 Cor. 13:5) in other words, what our water level is…yes, that is very important. Am I growing in my relationship with God or not? Do I know Him better today than I did yesterday? Are we getting more or less intimate? How did I respond to God today? Did I give Him ALL?


Secondly, what am I doing with my family? How am I taking care of them? Too often, we assume that relates to only financial responsibility. No no! It has to do with time allocation, being the priest over the home, raising a wife and kids that one can present to God as a job well done. And it’s not to just the men, the question cuts across board. Am I honoring my parents, submitting to my husband, loving my wife, being honest and truthful to my siblings (both physical and in the body of Christ), raising my kids right…?


Thirdly, am I growing in things that pertain to life? Am I better today than I was yesterday? Am I more temperate, am I addressing my flaws? What inspired my decisions today? Did I listen enough or talk too much? Did I treat my employees and direct reports fairly? As an employee, did I earn my day’s wage? How am I improving on my skills and talents to ensure that I live a life of excellence that glorifies God? What is my attitude to life? Am I thankful, cheerful, begrudging or morose? What did I do with my gifts and talents today? How am I fulfilling purpose? What did I do with the opportunities that life presented to me?

self examination1

Those are but a few and there is a whole lot of things that could make up our checklist but what is most important is the ability to introspectively address the answers these questions provide. Eccl. 7:10 in TLT says “Don’t long for the good old days, this is not wise”. This means that God’s intent is for us to get better by the day, for our paths to shine brighter and brighter.


Hence, we must quiet down and ask ourselves, “How are you doing?” And when our inner man responds, we must not be like the lady who said Hallelujah when more was needed because she had a default response expectation. We must be willing to listen to our spirit’s response and then inspired by God’s word, act.

So, are you going to start asking yourself ‘How are you doing?” today?

God bless you.


I’d like to apologize for being AWOL. I’m back now and I appreciate everyone who checked on me and those who wondered and those who noticed only because they saw this :-). I feel very loved. God bless you all for reading, commenting and being here. You are appreciated.


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  1. I’ve always thought about how we’re never really ready to hear the real answer when we ask “how are you”? But I’ve never thought to ask myself that question the way you’ve explained it.thanks for the words of wisdom!

    1. True, we really are never ready. Perhaps, it’s because we have become accustomed to not listening for the answer. If everyone that asked ‘How are you”? was required to really mean it, we may have people stop asking altogether. Hiya, or Hi would simply suffice. LOL.

      But, God wants us to be excellent and to be like Him and He always listened. So here’s to a more receptive me and you. We are not required to blurt out how we are really doing to everyone, we receive grace to discern but when we need to listen or share, just identifying that ‘How are you doing?’ can be more than a greeting helps.

      Thanks for reading and posting the first comment. 🙂 I appreciate you.

  2. Hi Eloho. Thanks for your post. I remember u r very good in this wise…each time when u asked me how r u, it reminds me. Dt there’s somebody Who truly cares.
    But,recently,asking myself dt same question hurts cos in some areas, I am judged as not doing well despite my efforts at improvement.Its like working so hard n not getting d expected results. This continued till I broke down due to stress. Now dt I’m recuperating, I have decided to- Let go and let God while helping others… I pray this works soon bcos I really need, not only improve in this area where I am failing but to excel.
    So I started asking others how r u? N helping them out. This is bringing me joy meanwhile.
    Thanks for your post sis. Its timely n am encouraged to keep this up.

    1. Awww…sending you a big big hug. You have made the right decision, to let go and let God.
      Of our own selves we can do nothing, let God work in you to will and do of His pleasure. That way, you take His easy yoke and let go of your clearly heavy burden.

      I second you on the joy of caring and encouraging others. It’s amazing how much joy one gets from apparently little acts of care.
      God bless you and be sure that I care, just as I did 10 years ago. 🙂

  3. Examination of conscience. An exercise that helps us check where we need help, where we need to be built up. Thank you for this timely reminder. The story is long but we’ll surely get there by God’s grace. I love you!

    1. Amen!!! WE will surely get there.

      One thing i have found helpful is just remembering everyday that this life is all I’ve got. If i fail God and fail myself, i dont have another chance. That helps me continually check myself as i ask God for grace to fill the gaps as I identify them. I am not judgmental or perfectionist, i realise that it’s a process, a journey, but with God’s help, we will all be closer today to whom we should be than we were yesterday. Love you much too.

  4. I am kind of different
    I ask how you are doing and I want to know
    I also scrutinize the faces of the people I ask
    and see if they are answering honestly and try to be kind

    I signed up for the Christ and I will live it the Holy Spirit
    helping me.


    How are you @eloxie dear

    1. That’s beautiful! Honestly glad for you. That’s exactly what Christ would have us be and do and I am sure this will encourage others to realign ourselves.
      May the Holy Spirit continually help us all.
      My dear sister, i am doing well o! And i am wearing a smile, in the event that you are trying to scrutinize my response. 🙂
      thank you so much for caring.
      Love you much.

  5. O dear – u got me. how are u doin has become a convenient salutation. whew! I’d better be more receptive & responsive to this question frm today. 🙂

  6. 1) welcome back Sweetie, hope you had a good one? You deserved it!
    2) I have been scanning my memory and made a mental note never to PING you again..
    3) when I ask people how they are, I most and generally expect a sincere answer… But in church…. Hmmmmmm….. Emmmmm….
    4) Always a pleasure reading your ‘pieces’ !
    5) stay blessed Sweetie…..
    6) Mwaah !

    1. My very dear Lolo 1,
      Thank you so much for being here. You know I appreciate you.
      LOL, it’s not the PING in itself, it’s the PING instead of Hello that irks me. Besides, you aren’t a culprit. Infact, you don’t even qualify as a suspect. 🙂
      I understand the need to make a difference as to who one shares details with. Wisdom is profitable to direct.
      Always a privilege to have you here reading.
      God bless you for me.

  7. Learning to ask myself ‘how are you’ was hard the first couple of times, what helped me do it was the realization that I had almost no one at the time, who was asking out of true concern. That changed a lot, later on.

    It’s not the easiest thing to give a hoot about another person’s troubles, when ignorance has been in play. But the blissful truth is that there is IMMEASURABLE joy and satisfaction in having helped another person get through their issues or simply smile.

    Dearesr Ellie, how are you? Love you

  8. Self examination is very essential. Though Sometimes I get scared to sincerely look deep into me but at the end it’s worth it. A retrospect into me usually gives me more clarity on vision and makes me realise how useless I am without God hence increasing my dependency level on Him which in turn makes me feel WHOLE.

    When I ask someone “how are you?” I usually mean it, but I’ve discovered most people by default give a non sincere general answer like “I’m fine”, so one has to re ask the question again. Maybe cause the majority of people ask the question for formality sake and not sincerity. I do hope more people would ask sincerely and I pray that the spirit of discernment would be with each of us to know who to pour our hearts out to and who deserves the general “I’m fine” answer.

    Anyway, this is a very timely post and I’m super glad I read it. I pray God increases your wisdom.

    Aaaah! I just remember the day you reached out to me on twitter. I could detect the feeling of genuine concern from your words and the walls I was building up just crumbled down. Though I didn’t give you details of my issue, you just asking how I was made me feel better and stronger. Tnx 4 caring ma! It’s something that has become impossible for me to forget. God bless.

    1. My dear, we cannot format our lives with the standard set by the world. As Christ is, so are we in this world. Jesus said our yes should be yes and our no, no, so we should not say what we do not mean, even if others do. So whilst it will be good to have others ask sincerely, you have no control over their asking or their responding. but you can choose to always ask sincerely and response sincerely too (guided by discernment too) because Jesus knew what was in man and didnt give himself over to man.

      And you are always welcome dear. Yes, I care, do feel free to reach out anytime.

      God bless you.

  9. Great food for thought.it spoke to my soul…
    How am I doing? How r they doing? How r u doing? I’ll learn to ask such questions wit d aim to get d real answers to it and not just as mere salutations frm today.

    1. Great! thanks for being here. Glad the post spoke to you. Always such a blessing to have God fill my empty words and reach others.
      God bless you Frances.

  10. PING!!! Hehehe….! Love you too! So I guess there are two ways to ask ‘How are you doing?’ I don’t know what people have in mind when they ask me how I’m doing! But I usually examine how I feel before I answer. There isn’t much one can do when asked in church to enquire of your neighbor…..there usually isn’t enough time. But I guess what I really need to focus on is to ask myself, ‘ how am I doing?’ Hopefully, I will ask myself that soon and be happy with the response I will get from me *big smile*!

    1. LOL! and my auntie brings her PING to my blog. I totally agree with your comment and trust with you that soon you will get a ‘big smile’ when you ask yourself how you are doing. I’m constantly working on that too. Big Hug!

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