Opinion

Eric Otchere: 2 secrets of progress

“For grace is given not because we have done good works, but in order that we may be able to do them.” – Saint Augustine of Hippo

In his address to the nation on Sunday 31st May 2020, the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, was proud to bask in the strides we have made so far as a nation in the fight against Coronavirus.

He went further to mention two things that have contributed to the success and put Ghana at the forefront of the fight against the global pandemic, namely: the grace of God and hard work. He said among other things that, “… it is the grace of God, and the measures taken by Government that have produced this result.”

Let’s look at how each of these plays out in our nation and in our own lives.

Grace of God

According to the President, the first thing that has helped Ghana to progress in the fight against COVID-19 is the grace of God. Even though some people took a swipe at the President for calling for prayers and fasting to see the hand of God and His favour to help us in the pandemic, Christians fervently prayed and are still praying for God to move.

This is profoundly important because the grace of God is available to us in many shades and forms. There is the common grace of God that both the righteous and the unrighteous enjoy every day of our lives without any conditions attached. As the Creator of the earth and everything in it (Psalm 24:1),…He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:45). Whether you believe in God or not, you live, you love, you marry and you can raise a family. That is common grace at work. Grace is the unmerited favour of God. He grants us grace not because we deserve it but because of His mercies towards us.

In our daily lives, we must realise and recognise the grace of God. We must know that we are who we are by grace and not just by our own intellectual, health, wisdom, science or energy. It’s just by grace. Like the President, we must thank God for His grace that causes us to thrive.

Hard Work

The second reason why Ghana is doing well according to the President is because of hard work. But keep in mind that grace and hard work are not opposing each other. The Lord grants us grace to work hard to succeed.

As a nation, we have worked hard to do scientific mass testing, wisely put the right measures in place and still strategically keep the socio-economic system running. It’s hard work. The system must keep going. The Information Ministry for instance has worked around the clock to brief the nation and invited experts to tell us what is being done. It’s hard work. We could not have gotten where we are if we sat and cried about the negative side of COVID-19 without taking practical steps to curb it. Grace is made available but it must go with hard work.

If your own personal life system will work, it will require hard work. You cannot sleep over 7 hours a day and be playing around and expect to succeed. Hard work pays. Sometimes hard work is not visible but its fruit becomes evident for all to see and enjoy. We must cultivate the spirit of hard work if we are to succeed in school, family, church and work. The second thing the President teaches us is hard work.

It’s possible to have the grace of God but be lazing about and achieve nothing. Or rather, you can plant seeds of progress through hard work anchored in grace to see your life blossom in the midst of doom and gloom.

What do you think of these two secrets? Share your views below.

The writer is passionate about sharing content that can help people make the right choices in life. He writes a daily blog at erickotchere.blogspot.com. He can be reached via mail at otchereeric@gmail.com.