I want to welcome all my readers back to this year and this column. We thank God for journey mercies and for life. I pray that as we follow, and worship Him this year in truth and in spirit, He provides the necessary lamb with which we shall sacrifice unto Him. Amen!
I really do not like to look backwards when I move, not in the sense of caring whether the one coming behind me is having a matchet and aiming at my neck, but in the sense of counting my woes. I prefer to count my blessings instead. When I do look back, I do so with the intention of judging my present with the past to enable me improve on my present and plan for a better tomorrow.
This day, we are going to look at the past. I have identified WICKEDNESS as the most prominent feature of last year. You may agree or disagree with me. However, the truth is that at a point in time last year, I restrained myself from going to newspaper stands. I was tired of seeing such screaming wicked headlines as “Boko Haram Bombs the Church, Kills Forty People”, “Man Kills Mother and Child,” “70- Year Old Man Rapes A 7-Year Child”, “3 Headless Bodies Found”, “Ex-Governor or Senator this or dat in Two Billion Naira Bribe Scandal” and so on.
I saw pictures of cannibals feasting on human flesh, fresh as they were! One particular man was eating human heart raw! These are all acts of wickedness and signs of endtime! We must change our minds!
Before one can think of changing something that thing must have been bad. I think the minds of men are evil and need to be changed.
We all know that whenever we talk of wickedness, every mind runs to Jezebel, because she convinced her husband Ahab, to cause Naboth to be killed, so that they would take over his vineyard. For many people that type of act is the definition of wickedness. I think they are wrong because that will be a limited way of defining wickedness!
Wickedness, by definition, is large and should include any act, omission or utterance which inflicts pains of suffering, humiliation, deprivation or even death on a person, society, nation or the earth.
Wickedness transcends humanity because there can also be wickedness against God. Thus, disobedience to God’s will and commandment or attempt to contend with or show ingratitude to Him amounts to wickedness to God.
If you look around you today, and you want to be truthful to yourself, you will admit that the society, the government, the people, the Church and even the environment have become wicked. Worse still, you will notice that many people are deliberately wicked and mischievous.
It is not only the police men who block the road and keep manufacturing offences, harassing and intimidating the very people they are supposed to protect that one can call wicked. No! Power Holding Company of Nigeria (alias NEPA) is also wicked. It is wickedness to force people to pay for power they did not consume, by being quick to disconnect their houses at the end of every month. What is this nonsense about estimated bills that never comes to an end? When will it start reading people’s metres and giving them the correct bills for power consumed, than subjecting them to torture of paying for the power they did not consume?
Who is not wicked? Is it the preacher who keeps portraying God as a liar by saying God had said what He did not say? Is it the false prophet who would extort money from people and tell them lies, knocking the heads of brothers, sisters, parents, and children, one against the other?
Perhaps, you think the businessman is better! If only you know how many times he swears every day with the name of the Lord that the fake goods he is selling are genuine! If only you know how much unjust profit he wants to make on that item he wants to sell to you.
Someone also needs to tell those in government or position of power that it is wickedness to make promises they have no intention of fulfilling. It is wickedness to appropriate what belongs to the rest of the people unto only themselves and their relations. Must everyone belong to the party in power to get the dividends of democracy? Is it no longer true that what is good for the goose is also good for the gander? It is wickedness to abandon those they are representing to represent themselves.
It is wickedness to allege that someone has done what they have not even thought of doing. Were you there? Why say you were there when you were not there? This is wickedness. My father told me that the one who told the lies for which someone was killed was the actual killer of that person.
You do not have to make someone unhappy so that you may be happy. You do not have to make pull someone down so that you may rise, or to kill someone so that you may live. These acts are acts of wickedness.
The Bible tells us to rejoice with our neighbours when they are rejoicing and to sorrow with them when they are sorrowing. Therefore, when you are sad because someone is happy, it is an indication of wickedness on your part.
The mind of man has continued to be evil, just as it was in the days of Noah, for which God destroyed that world with flood (Gen. 6-8). It has continued to be evil, just as in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah, for which God destroyed those cities (Gen.19:1-29).
Man has continued to disobey God, just like in the days of Adam and Eve, for which the Lord sent them out of the Garden of Eden and cursed man to die and also suffer (Gen. 3:1- 24). He has continued to be adulterous. He craves for his sisters as Amnon did (2 Sa. 13:1-14) and other people’s wives as David did in the days of Uriah (2Sa. 11-12:1-18). He tells wicked lies, even unto the Holy Spirit as Ananias and Saphira did (Acts 5:1-11). Indeed, there are many Jezebel’s whose blood are about to be licked by the dogs (2 Ki. 9:30-37).
In our families today, wickedness can be seen every where.
There are men today who will refuse to look at the faces of their wives when they are in pains or crying and even when they do, they see the faces of other women. This is wickedness. How can a man have five children and one of them wants to take what belongs to all of them by inheritance from their father, may be, on the unacceptable reason that he is the first son? How is it that when a man who marries two wives dies, the children of his first wife will declare war on the children of the second one and claim their mother was not properly married? Even if the second wife was married by mistake, why can’t everyone in the man’s family live in peace? How is it that after two hundred years a man and his ancestors had lived on a piece of land without challenge, someone would wake up from somewhere, claim that the land was on pledge, and ask them to vacate? These are all acts of wickedness!
Actually, there are many acts or omissions of wickedness. We cannot list all of them here because of limited space. But I have listed some so that we may all count our teeth with our tongues and re-examine ourselves.
One thing we must bear in mind is that wickedness is wickedness, whether small or big. We also have to know that God does not take kindly to any type of wickedness. He did not take kindly to Adam and Eve disobeying Him (Gen. 3:1-19). He did not spare Cain for killing his brother Abel (Gen. 4:1-12). He did not let Ahab and Jezebel go scot free for causing Naboath to be killed (1 Ki: 21: 1-24). He also did not spare David for taking Uriah’s wife and causing Uriah to be killed.
However, no matter the level of your wickedness, you still have a chance, another chance! God is calling us to repentance. He says He does not take joy in the death of the wicked (Ezk. 18:23). But He also says that the wicked must not go unpunished (Prov. 11:21). He says whatever we sow, that is what we shall reap, meaning that if we sow wickedness, we shall reap wickedness. He says that all those who kill by the sword shall also die by the sword (Mt. 26:52).
Brethren, this article comes at a time like this when wickedness among men by men and against men is trying to cover the earth, just like the sea, to remind us that we can still change our minds to do what is not evil. I think what repentance actually means is changing our minds from doing evil to doing what is right or good. So, can we really change our minds?
I think we can change our minds to be good children of God who are not only following Him but are also staying with Him and doing His will. If you have done something wrong for so many years and it has not benefited you, why can’t you change your mind about it? For instance, if you have been holding someone down and marching on him for years, and doing so has not improved your lot, why can’t you change your mind about that type of wickedness?
If your presence or action or omission is endangering the lives of others or their prosperity, can you please change your mind? Jonah saw that if he continued in that ship with the rest of the people, the storm would continue and the people in the ship would lose their lives, and he asked to be thrown into the sea, so that others might be saved (Jonah 1). This is what we should do when people are experiencing hardship and humiliation arising from our leadership or rulership. The best thing would be to resign because it will amount to wickedness to continue in office!
I know you must have made your resolutions in the New Year. If your resolutions do not include changing your mind to be a real child of God, you must go back to sleep again, wake up afresh and take a new resolution. Do not wait for time because time will not wait for you. Each new day, something is added to your age. This means that if you have five more years to live, each new day means minus one from five years. What if you stay in wickedness and your lifespan runs out on you? What if Christ comes while you are still wallowing in wickedness?
Brethren, the best thing is to change your mind right now for the better and in your own interest because the Lord says He is coming soon with His reward in His hands, to reward everyone according to their works (Rev.22:11).