BY PROSPER TINGINI
We preach from the scriptures but very often find our practices to be in conflict with our gospels. I am not a saint either. Politicians campaign with assurances to bring “heaven” to our country, yet most of those utterances die soon after elections. The government talks of austerity measures to turn around the economy but you would see the officials spending at will, flying to expensive holiday destinations, being hospitalized abroad at astronomical costs, importing the most expensive cars and a host of other luxuries. It is the suffering masses who bear the brunt of the ‘mothers of all austerity measures’. Lord have mercy.
The churches preach about the observance of the religious statutes, for people to pay the tithe, but most often they themselves fail to pay that same tithe from that which they receive. In the book of Numbers 18: 25-26, the Lord our God decreed, “When you take from the people the tithe which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then you shall present an offering from it to the Lord, a tithe of the tithe.” This means from whatever they receive as tithe, they should also put aside ten percent of it also as a tithe to the Lord. This should be given to the poor or for other Godly purposes. How many of the churches and ministries do this? The priests and pastors receive salaries or allowances of some kind. Do they all surrender the tithe of what is paid to them?
We have read numerous true stories of men of the cloth committing acts of adultery and moral decadence, yet the same people continue to preach without any shame. We often hide behind the gospels of grace to gain a way out of our devious practices. Sins are whitewashed very easily through the teachings that Jesus Christ has already paid for our sins; hence there is no longer any need to fear sin. This is a clear manipulation of scriptures. Shame on us!
We talk of corruption as a cancer in our society. However, the very people who pretend to advocate for its eradication are the same people who are entangled in its web. Those in positions of power are the most corrupt of the lot. They shout anti-corruption slogans in public but behind the curtains they play roulette to reveal their true colours, doing all sorts of things either to line their own pockets or of their cronies. Favouritism is at play everywhere, whether in workplaces, churches and et. Bribery is also the order of the day.
On bribery and corruption, the Lord our God spoke; “You shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the officials, and subverts the cause of those who are in the right” (Exodus 23:8). What a true statement by the Almighty! In Deuteronomy 16:19-20, He proceeded to declare; “You shall not pervert justice, you shall not show partiality; and you shall not take a bribe for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and subverts the cause of the righteous”. It is common practice that relatives and friends are placed in jobs more often with some favouratism involved. Those not connected are left out of universities, schools/colleges and many other opportunities that need competition or have limited vacancies, even though they have better qualifications.
To lead by example is as good as walking the talk. You should be seen to be doing what you preach, and do also whatever else you say people should do. Actions speak better than words. The best way to preach is to demonstrate by way of action. Don’t tell people to tighten their belts while your own belt is left loose. People will only have faith in you when you say things that you are seen to be doing. Practice is the best teacher and with it comes experience. When you have experienced what you preach for others to do, then you gain people’s respect.
During childhood, children are drilled by parents on what to do and what not to do. However, true lessons are learnt from the behaviour of the parents ourselves. We tell our children to behave well, to be home on time, to respect one another, not to use foul language and many other things. Do we parents then live by the same codes we set for our own children? A father regularly comes home in the middle of the night or in the early hours of the morning, in a drunken state. What lesson does it give? The father and mother may sometimes scold each other in front of children using unprintable words, or worse still they fight each other. Parents do many other bad things under the watchful eye of their children. What messages do these actions then convey to the children? Will the children learn of discipline, respect and good manners in such an environment? The children should see us parents practicing what we teach them in the homes.
In schools teachers teach students to be punctual, to be hard working, to be focused. Yet the teachers themselves sometimes do not show the same credentials towards their own work. You sometimes hear the students gossiping about the individual traits of their tutors, whether good or bad. The teachers’ behaviours in class towards their work is what students observe and that can mould their own attitudes towards educational studies. No wonder the pass rates of particular schools are perpetually lower, yet others are constantly achieving higher pass rates than others every year. I am sure the Ministry of Education can attest to this.
In other work places, superiors can set targets to be met by their subordinates. The superiors have to demonstrate first that those targets are achievable. They should lead from the front and show that the targets can be achieved and surpassed. This will inspire the subordinates to excel, when they work based on proven targets. Unrealistic targets have the effect of demoralising workers as they often surrender before they have even started.
l Prosper Tingini is the president of the Children of God Missionary Assembly. Registration in progress for those who wish to undertake Bible Studies or train as Ministers of Religion. Contact 0771 260 195 or email: email@example.com