A lesson from Niger.
While on the Mission to Niger last month, we saw thousands of young men walking the streets daily. To me, there was something familiar in the way they carried themselves. After meditating on this familiarity the Lord showed me what it was: swagger.
You see, the young African men in Niger walk with the same cadence we see in young African America men. They have an unmistakable bravado and swagger about themselves. There is a pride and self esteem in their speech, attitude, and walk.
This amazed me because the young black men in Niger aren’t immersed in African American culture. We’re more than 200 years removed from the slave ships that brought our ancestors to America yet, we could transport these young men to any black neighborhood in America and they would fit in just fine. Why is that? Swagger is genetic.
The expressions and dancing we see in African American professional athletes and entertainers is the same in young men in Niger. The loud, expressive black church services in America mirror the singing and dancing in Christian churches in Niger. There is no doubt in my mind that our people are from Africa because we’re alike.
That got me thinking. If swagger is genetic, how does that relate to our faith. Peter gives us the answer.
“by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”
II Peter 1:4 NKJV
The Apostle Peter says our faith in Jesus Christ gives us access to promises from God. Through these promises we can be partakers of the divine nature. Godliness is spiritually genetic. No matter where we go in the world, we should display the Lord’s nature.
There should be no mistaking our Christian heritage. People should hear our speech and praise and know we’re believers. Our walk, attitudes, and actions should make it evident we are born again. We may be more than 2000 years removed from the physical presence of Jesus but his love, compassion, and witness should flow from our lives.