Monday, 17 July 2017

Need To Balance Hard Work With Prayers For National Development

In recent times, miracles and prophetic teachings have been the main feature of Christianity in Ghana. Unfortunately, over reliance on prophesies and prosperity messages have not only plunged many citizens including some self-acclaimed men of God into a state of confusion, but also risk setting the expectations of believers in God to very absurd levels. It was refreshing when at this year's May Day parade in Accra, President Akufo-Addo entreated church leaders to impress upon their members to be hard working and desist from over reliance on miracles for success. It is mind boggling, how all of a sudden, Ghanaian Christians are losing the very good values and principles of Christianity.

Many years ago, hard work, humility, cleanliness and respect for the law were the attributes of Christians. But the insatiable quest for quick wealth has led to the erosion of such admirable values. The President was right when he stated that these days, we are in danger of getting things out of balance and allowing our lives to be taken over completely by a narrow interpretation of religion. And as Martin Luther King observed: “The belief that God will do everything for man is as untenable as the belief that man can do everything for himself". We must learn that to expect God to do everything while we do nothing is not faith but superstition.”

In terms of development, Ghana lags behind her contemporaries like Malaysia and Singapore. We are still far from our destination and without hard work, we may never get to the promised land. As Ken Blanchard once said, "productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort." That is why the attitude of most public servants in Ghana is very repugnant, to say the least. To quote the President again, "we arrive at work late and then spend the first hour in prayer. We become clock watchers and leave in the middle of critical work because it is the official closing time. Everything comes to a stop when it rains and we seem to expect the rest of the world also to stop. We have no respect for the hours set aside for work. We pray, we eat, we visit during working hours. We spend hours chatting on the telephone. We take a week off for every funeral and then we wonder why we are not competitive."

After 60 years of independence, thousands of children still go to school under trees. Thousands of babies die due to inadequate maternity facilities, thousands of people sleep outdoors and thousands of communities are inaccessible. It appears the best booming industry in Ghana is church ministration. Too much emphasis appeared to have been placed on religion in this country. This has been the bane of Ghana's development. It is shocking to see church activities going on weekdays, weekends and holidays from morning to evening. One can agree with Kay Musonda, when he said that "African Pentecostalism has given birth to a new breed of mentally lazy Christians who see God as a rewarder of mediocrity". For us, everything depends on prayers.

Indeed prayer is good but that is not sufficient. Prayer must be seen as a complement to hard work. Nevertheless, we should be guided by Thomas Edison, who said being busy does not always mean real work. The object of work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing." It is only with this mentality that we can make any meaningful progress towards our quest for rapid socio economic development.

Our religious leaders need to understand and imbibe in their followers the virtues of hard work. As the saying goes, you cannot eat your cake and have it. If you do not plant, you cannot harvest. If we expect our nation to develop rapidly, we must learn to work hard. To quote Brian Tracy, "You are where you are and what you are because of yourself, nothing else.

Nature is neutral. Nature doesn't care. If you do what other successful people do, you will enjoy the same results and rewards that they do. And if you don't, you won't.”


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