“For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do–this I keep on doing.” Romans 7:19
Lately, we’ve been learning that the Christian race is not a sprint but a marathon, one that requires drawing upon God’s grace daily. As Christians, the flesh is in constant opposition to living consciously in the Spirit. Sometimes it’s not even about murder or adultery or fornication. It’s about the little foxes of lying, exaggeration/embellishments, cursing, anger and many others seemingly innocent gaffes that add up.
L’ojo Monday, Eko o ni gbagba ku gba.
There’s something about Lagos that makes everyone angry and aggressive. Like it’s hard to be a sweet “turn the other cheek” kind of Christian in the midst of this rollercoaster called Lagos.
Being a Christian in Lagos is particularly hard. I remember trying to stop lying one weekend, and I did fairly well. Until Monday, when I was on my way to meet my colleague. My colleague called to ask where I was and even though I wasn’t even at Oando and then I just casually said I was at “3rd Roundabout. What scared me most wasn’t the fact that I was fasting (sigh), but the ease with which I lied.
For those who drive in Lagos, it is an exercise in grace. I don’t drive (currently) but every once in a while, I join the melee from the passenger’s side or simply just give commentary (which is rarely ever good!). Most of the time, I like to think that a simple “Jesus take the wheel” would do. But ah, the flesh!
If you constantly have to use public transportation, then I don’t envy your spiritual walk. With drivers going either too fast or with half the bus on the tar and the other half on the shoulder of the road, there’s already more than enough to deal with. Maintaining your sanity and acting as a Christian should, under those circumstances, can be daunting.
There’s also the question of if you should entertain flirting. Or if you should accept gifts from people you intend to have nothing to do with as women. If you won’t date someone, should you take his gift or should you let him go immediately? When does it move from just “gist” to “gossip”? Is your Linda and social media addiction healthy?
Truth is, there are a million things to anger you in Lagos, from your friends to random strangers leering at you in traffic, angry taxi drivers and saucy market women. And how we conduct ourselves, in our thoughts, words, actions and inactions is the ultimate test of Christianity. And this is where we need the Holy Spirit to direct us. We must also commit to dying daily in the words of Paul the Apostle. Thankfully, ” we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.”(Heb 4:15). I think that this assurance of grace is more than enough for us.
Have a great and grace-filled week 🙂