How have you consistently mocked Jesus in your place of work, community, social gatherings and any other places that you go to? Why would you not even stop this consistent mockery and still profess to love Jesus so much that you would always feel so guilty for not showing up in church on Sundays?
We have heard messages telling us and some others reminding us that we are ambassadors of Christ and we present to the entire world an image of Jesus. Some have not met Him before and others have only heard about Him but do not truly have an understanding of His person. In such cases, whatever we do just becomes the picture that they have of Jesus and they carry that picture all about. Some months back, I was in an event with a South African who was visiting Nigeria for the first time and had to be in Ondo state. He had seen a couple houses without proper planning, roads that should not be referred to as roads, reckless driving by some drivers who think they are smart and in the middle of it all are these excited villagers who kept waving their hands generously at every opportunity. He was amused that some of those young people who lived in such villages could speak good English and were always happy to receive them but he had a question on his mind.
When we got talking about events and places in Nigeria, He asked, ’is this – the buildings with poor plans, bad roads, no street lights and reckless driving – representative of Nigeria as a whole?’ He had obviously only passed through Lagos while coming from the airport but does not know much about the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), a body with zero tolerance for traffic offenses though with their own excesses in a number of cases. He had never been to Victoria Island, Ikoyi, Surulere and has desired to see some of our shopping malls. I guess if I never got a chance to talk to him, he would have had just a myopic opinion of Nigeria.
That narrow-minded opinion he had before meeting was not his fault! That was the picture the state he went to painted for him! We also need to recognize that we are also painting some poor pictures or even completely wrong pictures of Jesus Christ to many people who are watching us. How can you be an ambassador of Christ and people in your office don’t have peace because of your troubles? You are the first to go for spiritual meetings but also among those who would collude to steal from the office and also supply inferior materials to your clients! Why would you profess to love Jesus, get paid for services and not render those services? Why is the balance sheet of your office not balancing all the time? Why do neighbours in your compound come to settle quarrels between you and your spouse every week? Why would you not pay your due rent for the things you are enjoying when you actually have the money? Are you not part of those diverting funds from national treasury? They even know you are a pastor yet, they still give you a cut in their shady deals and there is no conscience pricking you!
How can you be an ambassador of Christ and be consistently found amongst drunkards? Some people say the Bible only told us not to drink in excess but the Bible actually says, ‘And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit’ (Ephesians 5:18). People who want to drink just focus on the part of the drink and forget the part of being filled with the Spirit!
I think we have some good examples in the Bible from some illiterate preachers who just went about their ministry so diligently that the people who did not see them around Jesus even said they perceived that these people had been around Jesus!
We may not be perfect just yet but like Apostle Paul we must leave the things that are behind and press towards the mark. We must constantly strive to be the real model for others to get an ideal picture of what Jesus represents. The more we do or say, the more people understand or misunderstand Jesus!
Fola Daniel Adelesi
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