President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has asked leadership of the church to help Ghanaians strike a proper balance between success from hard work and miracles.
For him, although the primary focus of religion is the redemption of souls, Christian churches should continue to emphasise the practical aspect of the lives of their members.
Addressing an international conference on entrepreneurship organized by the Methodist University College, the President said Ghana risks getting things out of order if citizens see miracles by pastors as the only way to success.
“These days, we are in danger of getting things out of balance and allowing our lives to be taken over completely by a narrow interpretation of religion. Hard work, cleanliness and respect for the law used to be important attributes of religiousity. Hard work, the preacher men used to tell us, paid dividends.
“We were urged to give to Ceaser what was Ceasers’ and to God what was Gods’. Miracles occurred, but they were not everyday occurrences. We were urged to work hard and that was the basis of success,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo is worried about current trends where people seem to think that success in fields of endeavour depended on miracles, not hard work.
In his view, spending the first hour or more of work on prayers, going to all night prayers and coming to work tired and unfit for purpose draws the country back and does not result in the productivity needed to develop the country.
“We take out a week for every funeral and expect our businesses to thrive because we invoke the name of the Almighty,” he added.
While he appreciates the role prayer played in the smooth and successful conduct of the 2016 elections in which he was declared winner, he said it will be unfair to discount the amount of the hard work that was put in by many people across the country which resulted in the feat.
“I mention this, simply, to make the point that there is the need to keep a proper balance at all times. As it says in the holy scriptures ‘a false balance is an abomination to the Lord, but a just wait is His delight’…we cannot and should not continue to hide behind religiousity to indulge in the habits that have characterized our attitude to work.”
He said successful economies always depend on entrepreneurs running successful businesses and it is time to take entrepreneurship seriously.
He said he has no doubt that the churches and mosques have a crucial role to play in the attitudinal change needed to build a new economy.
He said the change starts at school and with how attitudes are formed in the classroom towards the subjects that are taught and the professions children are encouraged to pursue.