Disclaimer: 1. This blog is me thinking about my Christian struggles in public. If you’re in a place where a little negativity might shake your faith, please, don’t read any further. Love and Light. 2. These are my opinions and I could be wrong. I could be seeing things a little too linearly. Please, do not hesitate to hold and share a counter opinion. I’d look forward to that. Thank you.
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
-Galatians 6: 7-8 (NIV)
One thing that makes doing the right thing hard sometimes is seeing people get away with doing the wrong thing. It’s demoralizing, kills the vibe, makes you second guess yourself. You begin to wonder if the “right” thing is even right. Personally, following God’s way has become so hard because lots of people aren’t following it and they end up just fine. Nothing bad happens to them. They’re just drinking wine and chilling and it seems as if I’m disturbing myself unnecessarily. I mean, other people are picking the commandments they like and discarding the rest. Kini big deal?
When I was younger, we were told not to have premarital sex because if we did, we wouldn’t be successful. One day, I grew up and saw that the world’s most celebrated people had or were having premarital sex. Where were the sexually transmitted demons (STDs)? The ugliness? The pain? The loss of self? The broken marriage it resulted to? Where was the spirit husband or wife? The spouse that wasn’t respected because “them no meet am virgin”?
In secondary school, there was this girl that was having sex. Omo, I became very close to her hoping she would confess some horrible see-what-sex-did-to-me thing. She never did. She was living a jolly good life. She still is. Now, of course sex has consequences – I am not disputing that – but I’ve seen many people “get away with it”. I’m not talking STDs (where D = Disease) and pregnancies and “my guy don gbensh the girl tire”, I’m talking about severe life alterations that aren’t entirely physical. People have sex and nothing happens. Nothing. Nothing is next. The sun sets and rises and America is still a racist country. It is meaningful and consequential and yet, jarringly ordinary.
Sighs. Sex aside.
There are many things we shouldn’t do that we now do. Nothing has happened. Stealing. Lying. Cheating. Killing. It’s as if the more we do it, the more God changes his mind about punishing anybody. Lots of shortcuts these days. Lots of people circumventing the system. We hear “Exam malpractice is bad! Exam malpractice is bad! Nobody will employ you. You won’t be given jobs, you won’t go far in the corporate world!” but Omo, only me know weytin I don take my eye see. How many people have “paid the price”?
My Dad grew up in a time when there were no thieves in my village. People basically left their shops unattended. If any body tried stealing anything, that person will be found out. Trust Edo people. You will get the consequences in real time. Why can’t Christianity be like this? Why are all those fake pastors and prophets going scot-free till the judgement day? Judgement day loun loun.
Like many baby Christians, I’m not a fan of The Old Testament but nne, it has a no-chill nature that is beginning to make sense. Do this and this happens, do that and that happens. There were good consequences and bad consequences. Everybody knew what to expect. But now? It’s like the rules are the rules for the mere sake of rules. There is just so much lawlessness; being honest is no longer attractive. You basically become a fool on the losing side. So, why should I care? A good name is better than riches?
[Totally unrelated: This is similar to the problem of the Nigerian State. There is no certainty of punishment. The punishment never comes. When it does, it comes too slow or it doesn’t fit the crime. How many people are cancelled for stealing public funds? How many abusive men face social ostracization? Why have some people not lost their jobs? Why are some people irrevocably insulated? And so on and so forth. Till honesty is attractive and dishonesty repulsive, Lugard’s baby isn’t going nowhere.]
Now, if I existed in the Old Testament times, I probably would be dead now, struck by lighting and used for Suya but I’d have made good sermon material. My death would basically remind you what was important. It would mean something. You would know this stuff is real, tangibly real and not just something people wrote so you wouldn’t have the liberty of formless enjoyment.
I guess these are what I’m asking:
Am I willing to obey the rules if there are no rewards? If there was no hell fire, would I still love God? Am I willing to simply obey because my God doesn’t like it? Actions have consequences but what if men have found ways to circumvent it? Actions have consequences but what if certain things are normalized? Actions have consequences but what if I can live with those consequences?
My friends say I don’t live with these people and so cannot tell if they’re reaping the consequences of their actions. They say I don’t live with that girl so I can’t tell if her sexual escapades give her nightmares. Well, my friends have a point but sometimes I think we say these things because we want something to happen to them, we want to soothe ourselves with the possibility of the unknown. If one of our politicians was really haunted by the ghosts of the people who have died in the dilapidated hospitals in his care, then his wife won’t be commissioning tippy taps, then his son won’t be fighting tooth and nail to get into office to repeat the sins of his father.
Consequences are important, to me at least. Good and bad consequences alike. It’s not just about punishment, its really about hope and a motivation to continue to do better, a reason to hold on for longer. Of course there are other reasons like the love of God and the afterlife but sometimes, at least for me, these reasons don’t help much. While I’m still trying to love God more, while I’m thinking “I’m just a young person with my whole life ahead of me”, what should I hold on to? Especially when I don’t have any tangible Christian experience or encounter.
In spite of my many doubts, why should I do what I should do?