One word that would make the difference

Dear readers, I have three particular incidents that stick in my mind today. Recently, a young girl student in my class asked, “sir, is that your car, the maroon colour, outside”? I give her a delicious smile and quipped, “I don’t even own a bicycle.” And she quickly appeases me, “that’s an honest living.”
It was really a thought-provoking answer. What prompted her to refer “honest living”, if I don’t own a car? The answer is obvious:  the “sorted aspect” of materialism that fall within the Naga society’s orbit might have propelled this young girl to think in that way.
In a society, like the Naga society, where the status of an individual is tended to measure by wealth and possession, the credibility of “honest living” is always in the inverted comas. Undoubtedly, there is a trend of acquiring wealth (of any kind) at the expense of the majority by a few “elite circles” of individuals. And it is true that some individuals, families, groups, institutions, and churches, possess things beyond their capacities.  So, here in lies the “honest deficit” among us. However, the crux of the matter is who would risk his ‘greed’ with ‘altruism’?
Again, in December 2010, a five-year-old kid surprised me in a bakery when she asked me, “tanubo (in Ao dialect, which means uncle) give alms to this poor,” who was just next to me. Why? I asked. Well, her answer purely emanated from the Sunday school environment. She replied, “Our Sunday School teacher taught us to give the poor.” This five-year-old girl put the decisive test in my wallet and in my faith with Jesus Christ. It’s a great lesson for all of us. Thanks to the Sunday school teacher, whoever he or she is.
We know very well that our churches in Nagaland have no dearth of money: they accrue much and spend much. Nevertheless, here is the “HOW.”  We are lavish in outreach missions, in preaching tours, and in embellishment of church building. Even so, I could see my people with the naked eye indulging in immoral activities simply to eke out their existence. I would love to see our churches adding lakhs of rupees in the expenditure menu for our people in and around us, for “charity begins at home.”
One of my senior colleagues once expressed his displeasure that “it is always better to worship God in a thatch house than in gold -silver studded church.” Here’s the question, why? It seems we have the nature of dividing among equals even in church; determining churchgoers based on titles and richness; furthermore, it seems our churches losing its stronghold in Christ. The paradox of our Christian life is that we don’t find Christ in the body of Christ. That is, the Church. I feel believers are today in the Alice-in-Wonderland world, running from one church to another to quench their spiritual thirst. It is important to note that believers are in acute thirst for Christ. Better, handle them with care.
I think, therefore, there is a word that would make the difference in our crocked Christian life. That is the word “NO.” By “NO” I mean, no to Greed (Prov 11:6, Luke 12:15, 2 Peter 2:14); no to Bribe (Eccl 7:7, Is 1:23, Due 10:17, Prov 15:27); no to Pride (Prov 16:18, IJohn 2:16, Hos 5:5); no to Selfish (Prov 23:6, James 3: 14); no to Sensuality (Mark 7:22, Rom 13:13, Rev 18:3); and, no to Dishonest (Ex 18:21, Ezek22:27, Amos 8:5). God blesses.