BY CHUKWUEMEKA ANYIKWA
To be truly rich is to be rich towards God or in treasures of eternal value.
This assertion was given by the primate of All Nigeria and Bishop of Abuja diocese,The Most Rev Nicholas D. Okoh while presenting his presidential address at the on-going 3rd Session of the 9th Synod of Abuja diocese.
The synod with the theme “The Poverty of Riches” taken from Rev. 3:17 is being hosted by All Saints Anglican Church, Wuse zone 5 Abuja.
The Bishop in his address averred that the theme is a paradox, in that one cannot be rich and poor at thesame time however, he stated the riches and poverty are not necessarily that of material things but of the spiritual which is the basisof life in the midst of earthly riches,as was the case of the Laodicea’s,which he described as spiritual blindness.
The scenario he said bothers oninterpretation which is itself a product of perception and understanding.
Perception bishop Okoh said is in three ways which are the way people see themselves the way Godsees them and the ways others see each of which has their peculiar interpretations based on understanding. He urged Christians not to be bothered about any other perception except that of God, for that is the only thing that matters.
On the issue of spiritual poverty, the diocesan revealed that for one to be poor and not know it amounts to blindness as was the case of the Laodicea church. He definned spiritual blindness as a state of spiritual condition in which one is not able to see himself as God sees him and spiritual poverty as when one is rich in money and Gold and not towards God.
Primate Okoh said the reason for both problems is the absence of Jesus in one’s life and urged Christians to allow Christ to direct their lives.
Archbishop Okoh said that the poverty of riches which is not a physical condition has grievous impacts on families individuals churches and nations and lamented that like the church in Laodicea, the victims are usually ignorant of it.
The cleric enumerated that some of the impacts of this poverty a n d blindness in an individual is weakness over the flesh, devil and sin.
This he said also is evident in some families where every material thing is present but the presence of God is absent.
He called on all Christians over the world to be humble and holy not to put their trust and confidence in wealth and material things but in God and his righteousness that comes by faith in Christ, so as to have eternal destiny, different from the unbelievers.