Everywhere you turn, a church, shrine or something religious can be found. Is this a true sign that we love God or are we just looking for something(one) to give us hope ?
Apart from the physical structures, our 'love' for God spills over to how we dress, act and talk. This is especially shown in our conversations.
Here is how a typical conversation between Nigerian Christians would go.
Girl 1: How are you? Girl 2: My dear, we thank God. Girl 1: How is everyone in the family? Girl 2: We thank God o. Girl 1: How's your job, hope everything is good? Girl 2: My dear, we thank God.
This is how a regular conversation goes between two church goers. I have to admit I'm also very guilty of this.
For Muslims, a response to 'how are you?' would be Alhamdulillah, which literally means Praise be to God.
I am sure everyone can relate and I can bet that traditional worshippers have something similar.
This shows how religious Nigerians are and how dear we hold our beliefs.
Now, I have to admit that there is nothing wrong with this, but the real question here is, 'do we REALLY care about God or we just looking for something to hold on to?'
I would love to say, 'yes, we really care about God,' but all evidence points to the contrary. Give me a chance to explain before you crucify me o.
We say we love God, yet we are corrupt people. I don't mean on a large scale, I mean on the simple, regular, day-to-day scale.
It is so common to see someone go to church, yet lie on their way out, pick up money that belongs to someone else as they leave the church, claiming God has blessed them or try to cheat the bus conductor.
How can we say we LOVE God yet we harden our hearts to the poor, needy and helpless, be unkind to one another and essentially, display unholy attributes?
Pastor Nkemjika Obinna, the Delta State Overseer of Deeper Life Bible Church, once said Nigerians are religious, not godly.
"We have heard that Nigerians are the most religious people in the world, but that does not mean they are all children of God. Somebody can be religious without being a child of God. Zachaeus was religious but wasn’t a good man, but he was transformed after meeting with Jesus Christ," he said. I wholeheartedly agree.
This would explain why we are so hooked to religion, rather than God. Why we are constantly church-hopping, searching for miracle workers; why we are always on the prowl for something to believe in a way that could be compared to drugs or gambling.
A recent study from the University of Utah has discovered that religion and gambling have the same effect on our brains, Engadget reports.
Just like gamblers or junkies, religious people are always searching for something, anything, anyone to hold on to.
No wonder Men of God, and I use that term loosely, often take advantage of this. The news is filled with stories of pastors/prophets exploiting people. In fact, the Lagos State Police Command has found that religious leaders are often the culprits of sexual offenses.
This startling revelation was made by the Police Public Relations Officer, Dolapo Badmos, who said that a lot of these leaders use the religion as the perfect cover to commit their crimes.
However, I don't really blame us. In face of the economic recession, transparent corruption in high places, and so many things we deal with, it is normal to seek hope. 'Thankfully', religion provides us with this by giving us the image of a man in the clouds.
However, we need to make sure that we know what we are doing. Are we really Christians, followers of Jesus Christ, children of God, whose actions reflect this or are we simply looking for something to believe in, a pastor to tell us that our problems will be gone if only we ________? You fill in the blank spaces.
Now, tell me, do Nigerians really care about God or are we just looking for something to believe in ?