Last Christmas, I had the rare opportunity to work for a government ad-hoc committee in my state to handle some Christmas activities for the government. The committee was entirely peopled by Christians and headed by a top Christian politician in the state. One recurring event that always took me by surprise during the meetings was when the Chairman of the committee always asked that it be opened and closed with a prayer. I totally did not expect that. It seemed contradictory that a politician would be this religious, especially behind closed doors and in no vain attempt to win votes or public approval.
However, I am not the only one who thinks this way. Whenever I tell someone that one day, I intended to run for political office, I am usually met with the response of ‘Politics is evil’, or ‘So you are going to sell your soul for politics?’ The conventional thinking went that right Christian living and politics never mixed; they were oil and water. As a result, one could not be a politician and still be a Christian in right standing. This thinking has made many Christians become apathetic to political events and happenings around us. In fact, some of them have taken it further to say that since we are in this world, but not of this world, there is no point concerning ourselves with temporal issues such as politics. They just focus on surviving and making heaven.
I tend to see this differently. For me, I believe that one can be a Christian AND a politician. In fact, we need more Christians in politics, especially in this period where our nation is passing through trying times. I remember the words of Jesus Christ in Matthew 5:14 – 16:
“You are the light of the world – like a city on a hilltop which cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket .Instead, a lamp is placed a stand where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same manner, let your good deeds shine out for everyone to see, so that they will praise your heavenly father.” [NLT]
Since we Christians are the light of the world, shouldn’t we then aspire to be in every place where that light will shine forth and eliminate darkness? Why then should we specifically avoid politics because it is ‘devilish’? Nigerian politics is filled with evil right now because we have left it for the evil only. There is no rule that says we must play by the existing rules.
As a Christian, your Christian values form the bedrock of all that you do, all your actions and all your utterances. This means that even in politics, a Christian who is solid on where he stands in Christ would be able to let his light shine in the decisions he make and the actions he takes as a politician.
This does not by any means it is going to be an easy job. There will be trials and temptations, and many times, one would be taken to his/her breaking point. But then, such is it with every area in life. The devil’s sole mission has always been to take down those of the Lord. However, His grace and strength is abundantly available to see one through.
We should not shy away from certain vocations or ambitions because they seem incompatible with our faith. We can and should be active in our nation’s political scene, and we can do that without having to compromise our Christian values. His grace is sufficient for us.
This article was written by Yada Magazine Contributor, Mark Amaza. He is a Passionate Nigerian; Chief Thinker/CEO of MINDcapital, a strategy, innovation and branding consulting firm by day; coordinator of NIGERIA:UNITED, a youth-based movement working to foster national unity despite our religious, regional and ethnic differences. He blogs at http://markamaza.wordpress.com. Follow him on Twitter @amasonic
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