“May God save us” – that’s a statement I have often heard from people who have given up in the face challenges that seem insurmountable. From violent crime through bad governance to corruption and all other societal vices. In one of the largest countries in Africa, paradoxically I’ve heard this same statement in the face of some ills that very personal and not whole societal.
I am a believer, in God, His power and His grace. I also believe that with the gift of free will comes consequences for both the things we do and things we fail to do. As human beings, we cannot both want this free will without facing the consequences that come with it. With the gift of free will, God has given us power of certain things, to ask him to take responsibility for them is being spiritually lazy. Sure we need God, to understand evil, fight it on realms we are incapable of understanding but as a system, part of the battle is ours, every day, every minute we live.
It is not up to God and cannot be left to him
- to stop us from reaping where we did not sow. God already teaches us INTEGRITY
- to raise great children in not only strong spiritual but also moral principles. God’s own son and the Bible provides enough principles.
- to reach out in love and service, not only to our neighbour, but to the stranger we meet on the street. God already teaches us CHARITY.
- to behave ourselves with dignity and responsibility in private and public and by so doing be an example unto others.
“God will help <insert country here>” ( e.g God will help Nigeria, Cameroon) is a phrase that makes me cringe when it is the response to societal ills that man is fully responsible for. Ok, what really would we want God to do if he showed up? raise responsible children? elect good leaders and hold them accountable? change our culture from the ostentatious money-worshiping fest it is to one that is values-based? make us conscientious at work? hold out religious leaders accountable?
And while we are at it, maybe He can throw in genies to put the food in our mouths, clean us up when we go to toilet and say good morning to our neighbours. The things that make for a good society are not always up to God, they are often up to man. For as important as social justice is, so are clean streets, concientious workers, caring neighbours and principled children. In fact when we have the later list of qualities, social justice is one of the fruits we will get. And those things are not up to God – they are up to human beings.
When humans take up that responsibility of doing the things (often seemingly small and inconsequential) that are in their power, the things that promote strong families, caring societies and great countries, those acts are themselves acts of worship that inspire God to do his bit – protect our families, societies and nations from vices that humans cannot by themselves comprehend.
“Be the change you want to see in the world” – said Gandhi, because that change you are being is the prayer that makes God to shower the world with more abundant blessings.