Success is a love-hate magnet. Both boon and bane it attracts; a fascination to the ‘fors’ and an arousal of repulse to the ‘againsts’. It is pertinent that everyone succeeds or at least strives to succeed in areas where at an advantage. Be that as it may, this article is specifically addressed to Christians having been the propagators of the faith, and passionately taking the gospel to people’s doorsteps. Since the Holy Book’s mandate is to preach and convert unbelievers, it has therefore become imperative that the words be complemented by lifestyles (of success).
It will reverberate to see a Christian who enjoys healing preach about it. When the life of a Christian becomes a litany of results, consequently, prodding an unbeliever with words will be a piece of cake. However, it becomes an aberration to preach to an ailing person that healing is the children’s bread when the preacher is restricted to a sick bed. It would not also make sense to preach that God is a great provider when the life of the preacher is a sharp contrast to that.
Admirably, Christianity is flourishing in Africa but that has not pre-empted development from stalling. Some (not all) of the apparent strides of development are some of the times made by non-Christians and lapsed Christians. While some of those who claim to serve the All-Sufficient God have been seen begging for crumbs that fall off the tables of unbelievers. A good number of Africans, especially Nigerians are remarkable prayer giants. That would have been a strength had they apportioned the same energy to the works of their hands.
This is the reason mediocrity has plummeted them into the pit of misery from where they stretch their necks to see unbelievers basking in lives of luxury. Owing to the non-progressiveness of people in this category, it has now appeared as though God is not able to help them. Their situations have given unbelievers the audacity to mock God. Any circumspect user of social media would notice the trend of money rituals being masqueraded as African Traditional Religious practices. Everyone now claims to have a spiritual calling. Some years ago, as Christianity thrived, African Traditional Religion(ATR) was relegated to the backdoor. Most (not all) of its worshippers lived in thatched houses, huts, and in recluses and wouldn’t boldly claim their religion. Notwithstanding, there were still some who lived in affluence, and others who professed their faith confidently.
Interestingly today, so much has changed. The glaring offshoot of ATR worshippers makes it even more difficult to differentiate between real and false. Unlike the old worshippers, some of the new ones rarely educate people on culture and tradition. They haven’t even employed their purported powers to fight the symbiotic menace of insecurity, sacrilege, and other barbaric crimes. Their focus is on making money and transforming lazy people into embodiments of wealth overnight. They now lead luxurious lives, own good cars, and live in mansions adorned with gold-plated furniture. Using affluence and wealth as a bait, they lure Christians into their world.
ATR may not be evil. There have been times many believed it brought solutions to family and the societal issues. But its new wing is gradually becoming a threat to humanity – a degeneration to an absurd level of putrefaction. It is being valorised everywhere, especially on social media and the worshippers boldly brainwash Christians to return to ‘their roots’. And poverty being a powerful tool, their efforts keep leading to landslide victories. Some Christians have settled for less by running to unbelievers for help. They nurse all the insults that come with being at the receiving end and have even surrendered to unwholesome practices in a bid to prosper.
The law of the universe is a respecter of no religion. It rewards who works, not one who prays. When a Christian or non-Christian sows, he reaps. Therefore, those who pray all day without working will definitely harvest prayers. While those who labour, be they unbelievers, reap the fruit of their labour. Being successful is not exclusive to Christians but then, they shouldn’t be at the bottom. It is painful therefore to see believers cowering at the feet of unbelievers for crumbs that fall from their desks and giving the latter the impression that God had abandoned them or that Christianity is a sham. In reality, God does not abandon his faithful, He wants to bless the works of their hands but they have recoursed to praying without exploring the works of their hands. And when their prayer reaches God’s place, blessings don’t follow suit because they planted nothing to reap from.
Commendably, a lot of Christians are doing exceedingly well in different walks of life, a great source of inspiration. Others need to ‘key in’. While it is important to pray, it is equally important to put in the work. Tribulations may come once in a while to people of God but none lasts forever. The righteous man encounters challenges but the Lord delivers him from all of them. This new year 2023 is another opportunity to stand out. Another opportunity for Christians to wake up, take over and represent God. People love to see results and the best way for Christians to win souls for God is by producing results both in blessings and character. In everyone are limitless potentials deposited by the Almighty, and every one of them should be a potential source of income. It is expected that each person finds his/her magic, unleashes it and soars. To render God’s gifts dormant is not only indolence but wickedness. This is because there are people whose light may not shine except when ignited by that of others. Some people must succeed not only for themselves but also to empower and lift up others. Therefore now is the time to awaken, to leverage on God-given gifts and produce results. It is not only for the benefit of oneself and others but also to bring glory to God.