THE EVIL OF INDEPENDENCE AMONG CHRISTIAN YOUTH AND THE WAY OUT
(Being the text of a paper presented by Mrs Deborah Yisa at Doko Diocesan Youth at Christmas 2013 held at Cathedral Church of St. Peter Doko on 28th December, 2013)
According to Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, “Evil is defined as having a harmful effect on people, morally bad, connected with the devil and with what is bad in the world”.
Independence is defined as “freedom to organize your own life, make your own decision”, without needing help from other people”.
Christian is Christ like, living like Christ’.
The topic is, therefore, the evil, danger or harm of freedom to organize one’s own life, making your own decisions without needing help from others among Christian youth who are expected to be like Christ.
Is it really possible to be independent in life? If Yes, how and if No, why? God created us to be dependent on one another at a given time and in a given situation both, male and female, young and old. Nobody is self sufficient, and nobody is an Island, we therefore need each other in one way or the other even as ( Children of God ) Christians.
As youth full of enthusiasm, energetic and inexperienced we need disciplers (people) to mentor, oversee us spiritually, physically, socially and a round development so as not to make a shipwreck of our lives. We need to humble ourselves under the training of Christian adults whose lives are worthy of emulation and can be dependable.
Why do we desire independence as youth?
We desire freedom too early and we make mistakes because of the following reasons:
1. We don’t want discipline. We want to be on our own so as not to be corrected by anybody or take instructions from anybody – 1 Timothy 4 : 12.
2. We are lazy, we don’t want hard work. We want to do things and get things easily without much labour. At home, most love to sleep and wake up at convenience, not even doing devotion either at personal or family levels. Household chores or duties, like washing of plates, sweeping he house, cooking etc, also suffer because of laziness. This goes o academic life, work life and becomes part of our daily life – 1 Tim. 4 :13; II Tim. 2 : 15.
3. Peer influence, a lot are influenced by their friends at home, in school and in the community. They want to do what their friends are doing and behave like them either good or bad.
4. Competition – A lot compete with one another, in dressing, making of friend (boys), in choosing of school, career, in choosing life partner, marriage.
5. Worldly or immoral life – Most of our young girls copy the world’s pattern and live like children of the world. In behavior, talks, dressing and general living, they are not different from the world – 1 John 2: 15 – 16; James 4:4
6. Some girls just don’t want to stay under anybody. Proud, full of themselves, they want to be on their own.
What are the dangers?
$11. Freedom to live or stay on one’s own has landed many into trouble, weeping, frustration, separation from God, parents, relatives, friends and the Church. A Nupe adage says ‘if you are allowed to do what you like, you will end up doing even what you do not like’.
$12. Some of our girls ended up marrying people not of their choices; some marry Muslims and are not at peace even with themselves – II Cor. 6: 14 – 18
$13. Some lived wasted lives not really useful to God and themselves
$14. Some dropped out of school and are not really in any meaningful job, thereby becoming liabilities to their people.
$15. Some have become objects of ridicule in the society and are no freer to mingle with others.
$16. If a ‘U-TURN’ is not made here on earth, they may lose their lives eternally in total damnation
The Way Out
$11. Accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour – John 3: 3, 5 – 6; 1: 12; II Cor. 5:17
$12. Remember where you have fallen and make amends i.e. to repent – rev. 2:5
$13. Allow yourself to be disciple, learn, stay under a senior Christian woman who is reliable, e.g. Esther under her senior cousin, Mordecai – Esther 2:7, Mary with Elizabeth Luke 1: 39, 56; Jesus with his disciples etc.
$14. Avoid bad influence from peers – I Cor. 15:33
$15. Be contended with what you have – 1 Tim. 6: 6, 8; Heb 13:5
$16. Be prayerful – Mark 1:35; Matt. 26:41
$17. Study the Word of God daily – Joshua 1:8
$18. Fellowship with brethren – Heb. 10:25
$19. Witness to others – Matt. 28:19/Testimony