How to be truly great (Part Three)

Posted by News Express | 26 July 2016 | 2,667 times

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I often hear people talk about how corrupt their politicians are, it makes me laugh because, the very same people who are complaining are just as corrupt. When they get to those same places of authority, they do exactly the same thing for which they were complaining against the previous politicians. All of them, both the former and the new ones are a product of the same society, where their value system has taught them to view politics as a means of gain and profit.

Whereas, let’s take the example of a different society where the prevailing value system is that you only go into politics and leadership to serve and not to make money. In such a nation, people know that those who go into politics and leadership come out of it poorer than they went in. That too is a culture based on a specific value system that says that, if you go into leadership and politics, you would lose money. Because you would rather spend your money to serve your people. Obviously anybody who wants to go into politics in a nation like that would think twice. These are two distinctly different societies guided by two separate value systems. It is not surprising that the level of corruption in these two countries is totally different.

In the first instance the level of corruption is the highest possible, while in the second instance, corruption is viewed as a kind of leprosy that can never be touched. The difference is in value systems governing each and every society.

For a nation to be corruption free, that culture must first be created through the proclamation and propaganda of a correspondent value system. It is only when such value system is well embraced by the populace that the country begins to produce God fearing leaders that are free from the mentality of eating from the national cake.

“Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations get corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” ― Benjamin Franklin

There is nothing near as powerful in making a nation great like establishing values and virtues upon a nation. When the citizens of a nation have been made to love and adhere to these values, then they make better choices.

Our choices are always in accordance to the prevailing value systems of our environment. Of course, there could be exemptions in very rare cases, mainly in the case, when an individual isolates himself from the prevalent culture of his environment or in cases when individuals have been exposed to other value systems.

The pulpit of a nation is a major source of the dissemination of a nation’s value system. The values that are mainly propagated from here go a long way to determining who the people of the nation become. God forbid, if the pulpit begins to propagate a faulty or erroneous value system, it ends up captivating the whole country, in no time like a cancer spreading throughout the body.

When Christians begin to advocate a school of thought that says; all you need is a miracle or breakthrough rather than hard work, that is a faulty value system that will go a long way to hurt the nation. People will not see the sense in working hard. On the other hand they will expect to live big, making them to take advantage of anything that does not belong to them. Worse still, they will erroneously think it is God blessing them. Imagine when a good size of the country begins to think and behave this way, the economic collapse of such a nation is only but imminent.

The religion or pulpit of a nation is the most powerful source of value formation in any country. Followed by the family, the educational system and the media. If the churches, mosques and other religious centers could come together to embrace a nation’s value system, and then set out to disciple the nation in these values and virtues, then the greatness of such a  nation is inevitable.

Alexis de Tocqueville was a famous French statesman, historian and social philosopher who lived between 1805 and 1859. In the year 1831, he traveled to America to discover the reason for her greatness. What he discovered was not what he expected. As a result of his trip he later wrote his famous book, Democracy in America. The book has been described as “the most comprehensive and penetrative analysis, of the relationship between character and society in America that has ever been written.”

Mr. Alexis de Tocqueville gave a chilling account of how American Christianity, her value based preaching, was the main factor responsible for her greatness as a nation. I think it would be greatly revealing to allow you my readers to go through a short account of his findings in this article:

As already stated above, Alexis de Tocqueville was the famous 19th century French statesman, historian and social philosopher. He traveled to America in the 1830s to discover the reasons for the incredible success of this new nation. He published his observations in his classic two-volume work, Democracy in America. He was especially impressed by America’s religious character. Here are some startling excerpts from Tocqueville’s great work:

“Upon my arrival in the United States the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that struck my attention; and the longer I stayed there, the more I perceived the great political consequences resulting from this new state of things.

“In France I had almost always seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom marching in opposite directions. But in America I found they were intimately united and that they reigned in common over the same country.

“Religion in America...must be regarded as the foremost of the political institutions of that country; for if it does not impart a taste for freedom, it facilitates the use of it. Indeed, it is in this same point of view that the inhabitants of the United States themselves look upon religious belief.”

I do not know whether all Americans have a sincere faith in their religion for who can search the human heart. But I am certain that they hold it to be indispensable to the maintenance of republican institutions. This opinion is not peculiar to a class of citizens or a party, but it belongs to the whole nation and to every rank of society.

In the United States, the sovereign authority is religious...there is no country in the world where the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America, and there can be no greater proof of its utility and of its conformity to human nature than that its influence is powerfully felt over the most enlightened and free nation of the earth.

In the United States, the influence of religion is not confined to the manners, but it extends to the intelligence of the people...

Christianity, therefore, reigns without obstacle, by universal consent...

I sought for the key to the greatness and genius of America in her harbors...; in her fertile fields and boundless forests; in her rich mines and vast world commerce; in her public school system and institutions of learning. I sought for it in her democratic Congress and in her matchless Constitution.

Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness, did I understand the secret of her genius and power.

More on this as we conclude this series next week.

Please keep a date.

•Sunday Adelaja is a Nigerian born leader, Transformation Strategist, Pastor and innovator who lives in Kieve Ukraine. He can be contacted at

Source: News Express

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