Enjoying life is what many will be quick to listen for. Many want to be justified for it and even some Christians will be quick to quote or misquote the Bible to justify it. Well, in my opinion, there is nothing wrong with enjoying life, as long as the means to that end is not detrimental to another’s enjoyment.

When your means to enjoyment causes a lack of it for others, then you are selfish and likely murderous. It is no longer enjoyment but a sick joy that weighs down your soul and quickly wrinkles your life span for those who have some scruples. For those who do not, I leave to God, who alone can reach the depth of all hearts.

Money, money, money, is all we seem to be concerned about nowadays. Even with the knowledge that Christ said to choose between God and money, we – Christians and Religious leaders – find reasons to excuse our choice of money over God in our actions and words. We take these excuses to our offices and social gatherings to justify our selfish quest for money that will make us enjoy life.

The Lord made the world for us to live life to the fullest. In living life to the fullest we must obey His ten commandments which consider Him our Creator and Lord first, then our neighbours. The summary of which is to love God above all things and our neighbour as ourselves, as Christ said in the Bible. Where any of these commandments is absent in our life’s enjoyment, then it is no longer enjoyment but sin, selfishness and murder – of self and/or others – because murder is not only an instant killing or the shed of blood, but a gradual elimination of others by our wrong or selfish or greedy actions [which cause worry, suffering, poverty, pain, etc. thereby lowering their life span].

What are the actions that are detrimental to others? – Greed, stealing, cheating, coveting, gossip, and envy? Which are neglectful towards our Creator? – Lust, disobedient of God’s laws and idolization of money and other graven images. Which are detrimental even to you in the process of enjoying yourself? – Gluttony, pride, sloth and envy.

These are vices we were and should still be cautioning against, from childhood at ouir homes, schools, churches and government agencies. But do we? At home, do we love our children so that they can love others and do we teach them self-worth, morals and good values so they can positively impact society? Or does one of the parents abandon its responsibility to the other or both abandon their children because they can no longer cope and need to enjoy life? When we create a responsibility, we have to try and pray for God’s help to live up to the responsibility. We should not leave our children vulnerable to some cruel society and bad influence or simply push them out to go and make money like others by crooked ways. Parents form the foundational character and beliefs of their children; lead them aright.

In the church, do we truly preach the love of God and neighbour and virtues and beatitudes so that the congregation can go make live and also proclaim the gospel in the wider society? Or do we tell them to also go and make money by all means because, according to you, poverty is a sin? Should this make Christ a liar when he came to live among the poor and blessed the poor in His beatitude? Many are poor today not by choice but by the actions of the greedy and selfish neighbours. Laziness is a sin, and not getting up to pick up the pieces of your life and make a lemonade out of a lemon [This is us, season 1] is the sin.

Are moral instructions and Religious knowledge still taught in schools? Or are we beginning to see our differences in our beliefs more than the one truth we all share – faith is our One God, the Creator of us all, and who wants us to live in peace, love and harmony, even in the different ways we acknowledge Him? Why do we quarrel or kill one another instead, because our beliefs in this One God are different? How is killing your neighbour improving your life and exalting the God you preach [who created your victims]?

Are our Government agencies meant to serve and lead us all to a fruitful, happy and healthy society or engage in all sorts of corruption in all their spheres to make the people suffer and impoverished by bribery, stealing, looting, allocation of insane salary and allowances to self when they cannot even pay the wages they throw down to the poor civil masses; or account for their offices, talk-less of some considerable accounting at all?  Various governments in our country, since ever, have only worsened the lives of our people rather than make them better for all to enjoy this life, because they would rather be selfish and enjoy life at the detriment of other.

Are all these truly enjoyments for the antagonists of these scenarios? I do not think so. Rather, they are vicious manifestations to self-aggrandizements that destroy their souls, suffer others and displease God. Every occupation is a vocation to serve to a positive end – which is true enjoyment for all. Parenthood is a vocation to raise healthy and responsible children that will make a better society; teaching in schools is a vocation to educate and breed principled graduates at all educational levels; the Church is to churn out virtuous and charitable congregation; and the government agencies are to serve the people empathically and grow a healthy and happy society. In this way, we all enjoy life together.

By IfeanyiChukwu Oluwafemi [Linda Ogbue] – 6th of February, 2019

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