Written by Evi Idoghor
Last week, social media was in a frenzy after a woman cried out for help on Twitter, stating she had been assaulted, and some people mocked her. Her attack eventually led to her demise. This unfortunate event prompted people to call on others to be more empathetic, as they may not know when someone is truly in distress.
As expected, the terrorist attack on a passenger train from Abuja to Kaduna incited many Nigerians to criticize their government's inability to address the country's problems. Comments ranged from insults to the current and previous administrations to advice calling for Nigerian citizens to migrate to a land flowing with milk and honey.
When something avoidable, such as recurring terrorist attacks, or even something unavoidable, such as car accidents, occurs, people are often quick to condemn the government because the necessary infrastructures to handle emergencies are not in place. There is truth to that; it is an open secret that our leaders have failed us time and time again. However, we frequently absolve ourselves off any role we may play in the scene of our country's frequent calamities – this happens everywhere.
When something goes wrong in society, outrage is always encouraged. When you choose to remain silent on social media about the things happening in the world, they say you are committing violence. As if your tweet, Facebook status, or Instagram post grants you a Saint-like status – one who is sinless, casting the first stone. Those who are quick to speak, however, do so with a log of wood in their eyes, pointing their fingers at everyone else, except themselves.
Sexual immorality and society
My cousin recently took me on a stroll through the streets of Instagram, where she showed me an X-rated video. It was posted by a lauded celebrity for his millions of followers to see him living his best life and perhaps lust after what he appeared to enjoy.
“Godliness makes a nation great, but sin is a disgrace to any people.” – Proverbs 14:34 (NLT)
The general tone of the comments was one of applause, and if people didn't want to applaud him for his starring role in the beginning of a low-budget pornographic film, they simply said, “hope mom and dad aren't among your followers to see this obscenity,” as if it were acceptable for other demographics' viewing pleasures. It is now accepted as part of our culture to engage in sexual immorality. When I was listening to a podcast conversation recently, a celebrity made the point that sex and its immoral derivatives are part of our everyday lives.
People no longer confine their sin to the confines of their personal spaces like their bedrooms. They no longer wait until the wee hours of the morning to entangle themselves in acts to which only God has access. No longer can they rely on an audience of one or two, to witness their depravity; instead, they must put it on public display for everyone to see.
When I read stories about what relationships are like right now, I am frequently astounded. Everyone appears to be sleeping with everyone else. However, when something cataclysmic occurs in society, these are the same people who are the first to raise their fists in protest, suddenly caring for an innocent person who lost their life at the hands of evil men, oblivious to the fact that they are just as sinful.
In Ezekiel 22: 11-12 (ESV), God is found addressing the nation of Israel because of its sin. “One commits abomination with his neighbor’s wife; another lewdly defiles his daughter-in-law; another in you violates his sister, his father’s daughter. In you they take bribes to shed blood; you take interest and profit and make gain of your neighbors by extortion; but me you have forgotten, declares the Lord.”
We whine, wail, and complain about the state of our country, pushing God, godliness, truthfulness, and righteousness to the sidelines. If we want our nation or society to thrive, we must start with ourselves, just as Michael Jackson popularly advised in his hit single, Man in the Mirror.
A place for prayer
“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 (ESV) Any sin or evil act we commit is a sin or evil act against God. While prayer is always encouraged, repentance from sin is also essential. When we join our lives with others (especially in marriage), and find it difficult to avoid unrighteous acts, which could range from telling a white lie to sexual depravity, we end up raising ungodly children, who then become part of the society.
Pray for your leaders
Everyone enjoys rolling their eyes when it comes to praying for Nigeria, we've been praying since, what have our prayers accomplished? They respond in kind. 2 Chronicles 14 tells the story of King Asa, who did what was good and right in God's eyes. And the land was at peace during his reign.
Verse 6 says, “He had no war in those years, for the Lord gave him peace.” 1 Timothy 2:1-4 (ESV) says, “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of truth.”
I understand how difficult it is to pray for our leaders, especially when it appears that they do not have our best interests at heart, but the Bible encourages us to do so regardless of our feelings, because it is pleasing to the One who created us. He asserts that if we do this, we will live in peace. Another scripture says that the hearts of kings are in his palms, and he can stir them in any direction he wants.
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We can bet our lives that if anyone on the planet does not have our best interests at heart, God does, so we can trust his words. In Ezekiel 22, Israel committed a variety of atrocities, and God brought judgment on them, as he did on Sodom and Gomorrah. In 2 Chronicles 14, during King Asa's reign, Judah lived in peace because he did what was right in God's eyes, so it's up to us.
Let’s consider our lives, purge ourselves of the sin that we still find so pleasurable, and pray for our leaders, as God has commanded us, in the hope that one day (if Christ tarries) all the atrocities that we hear about will be a thing of the past.
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