FAITHFUL AND FAITHLESS
Many a time I have wondered what or how exactly I can describe the word “Faith”. I always end up not understanding the mystery of the word. On most of the cases, I got distracted when I almost got the meaning, but then, I always had my dictionary to consult.
“Faith” according to a dictionary means a strong religious belief. When one has faith in something, he’s ever ready to defend such thing, to whatever length, at times, to the point of death.
Heb 11:1 NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses]. (Amplified Bible)
The above verse best explains what “Faith” means. It gives assurance about the reality of things we hope for and it gives us the evidence of things we have not seen.
Much as it is good to be faithful, many people have, because of religious extremism, taken faith to a level of stupidity, so to say. Think of people who do not apply their common sense to the faith they practice and so they confuse people of the actual meaning of faith. From the normal state they are, they rapidly move to an abnormal state where being faithful becomes being faithless.
In whatever one believes in – juju, natural things or the Supreme God, one should try as much as possible to avoid being a victim of extremism. I have seen and heard about situations when people became architects of their own misfortune because of what they tagged faith which in its actual sense was far from faith. Below are some of the examples.
My aunt once told me about a supposedly born again Christian lady who was to answer a question that read “comment on the life of Jesus Christ” in her WASSCE Christian Religious Knowledge. She totally respects the Lord Jesus Christ and gave a very good answer showing how much she values him.
“Who am I to comment on the life of Jesus Christ my Lord and Saviour? I am a filthy sinner and I have not the least privilege to comment on the life of my savior. I’ll rather comment on the life of John the Baptist, his fore runner”.
She was however unfortunate that her paper wasn’t marked by a sentimental Christian like her who could have awarded enough marks. She failed. Just like that!
What about another lady who spent seven years in the University because of her stubborn, unwise faith? She had her final year exams in an important course scheduled to be held on Sundays. She refused to sit for the exam because they were on “a Sunday of all days”. That cost her seven years because for such consecutive years, the same exam fell on Sundays. What a pity!
I heard about two young men who worked as night guards who also exhibited their brand of foolishness which they termed as faith. They were well rewarded for their stupid faith. They went to consult someone for charms and protection against gun attacks from gentlemen on the street.
After consuming different form of bitter concoctions, receiving lots of incisions on various parts of the body and drinking of spiritual wines, the last step was to test the authenticity of the invisible (bullet proof) prepared for them. One of the two, so full of faith, flexed his muscles and told the other to shoot at him.
Without hesitation, the shot was fired as the brave but foolish partner. Mr. Faith-full got the full impact of the bullet on him and that triggered a well modulated sorrowful cry of “Oroooo!!!”. That was his last song. The other guy was lucky.
There was another Muslim guy whose faith knew no bound. He was clearing weeds around the house when a cobra appeared. He had the machete. He didn’t use it. He went in for his rosary, came out and started his songs; Audhu bilahi mina shaytan rajil…
It must’ve been a language the snake understood which probably meant “come on guy, here is a meal at your door step…..” The snake went ahead and gave him the sharpest bite it had. He was lucky to survive, but then, he had a (sweet) lesson to learn.
There is the popular story of another young man who wanted to be Nigeria’s modern day Daniel. Proclaiming that he would go into the lion’s den and come back unhurt, he headed to the University of Ibadan zoo forgetting that “thou shall not tempt the Lord your God”. The lion had him for lunch.
When we exercise faith, we also should have it in mind not to test God or change him to a magician. He works miracle in the right way. Wisdom must walk and work hand in hand with faith.
The Bible said it point blank “wisdom is principal, get wisdom… ”. Need I say more?
Foolish people will always graduate from being faithful to being foolish. No matter how poor one can be, common sense is the cheapest you can have. Use it with faith.