The Yoruba’s have a proverb that He who follows a dog would soon eat faeces. Apologies if the thought of this causes you to puke; but this was stated following the observation that stray dogs would just go about eating anything … even faeces.
Somehow in a distant land away from familiar faces and scenes I learnt a vital lesson about companions which drew me to the proverb above. The companions we keep would affect us either for good or for bad. And it would not just fall like ripe cherries; it would have to be worked on. The natural drift of the world is toward itself i.e. worldliness. So most likely, if you are left all by yourself, there is a 100:1 chance that the person that comes your way would be asking you to compromise your stand.
We have to guard our Christianity and one way comes by guarding those we flock with. David said “I am a companion of all them that fear thee and of them that keep thy precepts.” (Psalms 119:74). Just as iron sharpens iron, friends sharpen the minds of each other (Proverbs 27:17). Again we hear Paul saying “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works” (Heb 10:24)
I had to break the temptation of just assuming that being in the midst of Christians without consciously pursuing our individual and collective Christianity was all that mattered. I mean we could tatter on end and talk on and on, but many times this was not fulfilling. My spirit yearned for a song, for a phrase of prayer, for a word of encouragement. But somehow I didn’t understand how to make it look real and not force it down others throat. But after a while, I got to understand that deep down inside of most of us was that yearning as well. Why am I seemingly drifting off the topic: it’s because it is not just about who you flock with but what you do together. A group of Christians drinking coke and relishing every lewd joke does not make the gathering more christianly than a group of sinners drinking beer and sharing porn.
Do not consider it strange to pray together. I repeat Christianity is not about living in a house with a huge Christian logo on the door or driving in a car with a huge logo at the rear mud guard. It should be in the popular phrase of the early church – “… and they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”
If you find yourself in an unfamiliar environment like me, don’t get lost in the crowd. Seek your kind and flourish.
Dr bolaji akanni