“The one nearest to the enemy is the real leader.” – Ugandan proverb
My dear Christian,
I know we are still welcoming a heart-warming New Year and we are all into feeling good and having a positive attitude. We need to maintain this momentum all-year-round. However, I have had to reach out to you because of the state of our society, and the beginning of a New Year is a more appropriate time to reach out to you than later. It is no secret that the politics in our nation with their winner-take-all structure are impoverishing our society and most of the people.
Interestingly, we form the largest group in the nation in whatever categorisation anyone can dream of. The statistics suggests that as much of seventy percent of the population claim to be Christians. Not only is this a great force, but it also implies that we are accomplices in the current state of play. And that is disheartening to our faith. It is so because it is practically impossible for the dominant culture to be one of corruption if seventy percent of citizens are practising goodness and living ethically.
We need to understand that our proclamation as Christians means we are tasked to live out our faith in the world and to be a light to those around us. It means we must help build our nation into a better society. The logical question that jumps out is: if seven out of every ten persons in our nation are Christians, how came there is so much darkness in our nation? That tells us that we are not loving our neighbours as ourselves. It reveals that we are not caring for the poor and oppressed. And it means, we are not actively engaged in working for justice and righteousness in our communities and the world at large.
What’s ironic is that there does not seem to be a short supply of Christians when we ask about religious affiliations. The individual asking that you to grease his or her palm before they serve you is a Christian. Likewise, the public servant fishing to find a flaw in the documents you have presented so that you will be forced to pay a bribe is most likely a Christian. And to top it all, even the one who is also ready to pay the bribe is also a Christian. What sort of Christianity are we practising in our society? Is it Christianity made in Ghana? What sort of Christ and His Gospel is being preached to us?
It is no secret that Sundays are the most beautiful days in our society. We dress our best to go proclaim and declare our blessedness. But beyond that our relationships are not marked by love. This is not pride, and not even a lack of humility, but more an expression of losing the true sense of self before God. It shows how we are more interested in the social and/or cultural aspects of being a Christian than in actually living out teachings of the faith. Some of us even impoverish our fellow citizens and use the proceeds as thanksgiving to God. So, we are fellowshipping at church, participating in various religious activities and identifying as Christian, but we are not putting into practice the principles of love, compassion and selflessness that are at the core of our faith.
Christianity is both a belief system and a way of life. It involves both talk and action. It is not all praying and singing praises. We also need to take actions that allow the world and the worldly to glorify God. That challenges us to get involved in initiatives with goals of addressing social and economic inequality. It means using your voice and influence to speak out against injustice and advocating for real and positive change. That is what being a light involves. You are to behave as Christ would do in every situation. Plus, we need to remember that at every point in time we are either helping God gather His family or we are aiding the evil one to scatter them.
Our fathers always preached that “the one who prays to God and works for humans will be heard by both”. They remind us that living out our faith means being engaged and invested in the lives and well-being of the people around us. Their words entreat us to remember that building a better society is not merely fighting to improve its laws and policies, but is also about changing the hearts and minds of the people to the standard of God. This means that we must be willing to engage in difficult conversations, and be open to learning and growing ourselves as we work to bring about a more just and equitable society.
To be able to do this, we need to educate ourselves on the issues facing our society and understand the root causes and the consequences. And we need to learn to question how our individual actions and inactions are contributing to the impoverishment of our society. This would mean we are taking time to listen to and learn from those who suffer from the injustices in our nation. It would involve us understanding how the absence of goodness and mercy contributes to the deprivation of individuals and our development programmes.
And with such insights, we will be able to understand our impoverishment issues with more empathy and be more effective in our advocacy and in the actions we take to build our nation. Then, we will be empowered to be conscious and cautious of our own words, our silence, our actions and inactions…
A fellow Christian.
Kodwo Brumpon is a partner at Brumpon & Kobla Ltd., a forward-thinking Pan African management consultancy and social impact firm driven by data analytics, with a focus on understanding the extraordinary potential and needs of organisations and businesses to help them cultivate synergy that catapults them into their strategic growth and certify their sustainability.
Comments, suggestions, and requests for talks and training should be sent to him at kodwo@brumponand kobla.com