Hardship and the Cross: Religious, Political, And Economic Implications for A Distressed Nigeria

Hardship and the Cross: Religious, Political, And Economic Implications for A Distressed Nigeria

By Emmanuel Gandu

“Take up your cross and follow me”

My dear friend, I want to share with you a story told of a man who approached our Lord Jesus Christ with a complaint that his cross is too heavy and troublesome for him. Our Lord responded by taking him to a house full of crosses of different types, shapes, and sizes.

He asked him to drop the cross he was carrying and pick another befitting one of his choice.

The man dropped his cross in the midst of the others in the room and took his time to look around. He saw big crosses, medium crosses and just one cross that looked smaller than the others, and he quickly picked it up. Our Lord asked him if that was his final choice and he said “yes it feels good and I can bear it.”

At this point, our Lord told him that it was the same cross he came with and complained about when he entered the house.


The burden and troubles of life are our crosses. As the crosses come in different colours shapes and sizes, so are our burdens, troubles, and situations.

√ Is the economic hardship and high cost of food caused by the oil subsidy removal becoming too heavy a cross to carry?

√ Are you struggling with a stubborn and wayward child?

√ Are you childless even without hope?

√ Are you tired of waiting for the right partner?

√ Is your spouse the troublesome nagging and abusive type?

√ Are you tired of searching for a job?

√ Are you afflicted with series of misfortune?

√ Are you or a family member afflicted with a disability or a life threatening disease?

√ Is the prevailing insecurity of banditry, kidnapping, killings, terrorism, unemployment, strikes, high school fees and cost of education in our institutions, and hardship situation in the country having a devastating effect on you?

√ As an employee does your take home pay takes you home?

√ Aa pensioner how pensive are you at pay day?

√ As a dependant when last did you get your usual stipend?

√ As a student have your parents paid up the back load of your school fees?

√ As a housewife is the ‘chop money’ enough for the family?

All these dysfunctionalities are the result and consequences of our choices of leadership in Nigeria.

Well, my friend, these are your burdens, your crosses.

God knows your situation and He will make a way at his own chosen time.

And you are to carry these crosses, these burdens, these situations along as you journey through life.

Take them up, but do something about them.

You have a choice to change the leadership of Nigeria through peaceful democratic means.

Don’t sit on the fence. Join the people, change your situation and destiny.

The Church encourages her members to fully understand and participate in civic duty and democratic activities of the country.


In Luke’s Gospel (Luke 14:25-33), Jesus admonished every Christian to deny himself and relations for the sake of following Him.

In Mathew’s Gospel (Matt. 16:21-27) our Lord Jesus Christ gives us the precondition for discipleship. He begins by describing his “cross” which consists of going to Jerusalem, suffering, and dying. He also added that he would rise on the third day.

Jesus didn’t only predict what will happen to him in Jerusalem but also gives us three basic ways that would help us become true disciples. Namely:

1.Deny your self

2. Take up your cross

3. Follow me.

A. Deny yourself, we all know that it is not easy to deny oneself like to deny others. However, the denial Jesus is referring to is an act of depriving oneself of pleasure and comfort for the sake of his kingdom and for humanity.

But come off it. Haven’t Nigerians suffered and sacrificed enough to warrant God to take away these crosses of distress and death hanging on our shoulders?

B. Take up your cross and follow me. The cross in this context refers to service to God and humanity, which in itself is very tasking and demanding but very rewarding as well. Even though the man in this story complained, yet he couldn’t escape the cross.

This means we cannot run away from our responsibility to God and humanity no matter how difficult it may be.

But I do know that we can run away from the suffering of hunger and deprivation by making the right choices of our religious and political leadership.

(1) Have you made the choice of your cross?

(2) Do you have a choice?

(3) May God grant us the grace not only to carry our crosses and follow Jesus, but to participate effectively in replacing the bad political Leadership of Nigeria through peaceful democratic means.

So help us God.

 Peace 🙏

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