While millions around the world marked the popular Valentine’s Day 14th February, Journalists have been asked to manifest the love of Christ as they go about their daily assignments.
The call was made by the President of Journalists For Christ (JFC), Mr. Lekan Otufodunrin at the group’s February fellowship in Lagos recently.
Speaking at the fellowship, Otufodunrin read from I Corinthians 13 and asked journalists to emulate lessons from the passage.
“How does the love of Christ manifest in our lives as journalists and how concerned are we about what we are writing?” He asked. Otufodunrin stated further that journalists must manifest love with their contents.
“We must condemn injustice, we should be concerned about the people we are reporting,” he said.
Otufodunrin who is also the Onlne Editor at the Nation newspaper and media trainer with bias for grooming young journalists asked award winning journalists to mentor younger journalists in the newsrooms.
“You are winning all the awards while others are not wining anything, are you concerned?” he asked.
“Love is not proud, it is not arrogant. Be that journalist in the newsroom others are happy to see. The atmosphere in the newsroom can be so gloomy let us be true examples of Christ, let our presence make others happy,” he advised.
In her comment, Executive Director, CEE-HOPE, a Lagos-based non-governmental organisation working among girls, Betty Abah said one of the ways journalists can show love is to share information.
“There are opportunities, scholarships, fellowships, award entries etc., we can show love to our colleagues by releasing such information when we have them. It is sad that some people get such information and hide them. You never can tell who you could be helping by releasing such information,” she said.
Oseyiza Oogbodo in his response said sharing electoral information is a way he wants to show love in a year preceding the 2019 election. “The way I think I can show love as a journalist is to sensitise people on preparing for the coming election because people must vote out any government at any level that is not representing them well. If we must live a better live we must be well governed,” he said.
Administrative Secretary of JFC, Dayo Emmanuel in his remark advised that showing the love of Christ should be done naturally without bias.
“Someone once said, don’t treat people according to how bad they are but treat people according to how good you think you are. Some people are perceived to be bad and they suffer the consequence from others, the love of Christ does not approve of that because it should flow without prejudice,” he said.
“There is no one on earth that has not experienced a form of wickedness but it is the love of God in us that can give us the right attitude to respond,” said Pastor David Adeola Odunayo.
Odunayo, Publisher of Yoruba Express added that, “We either show the love of Christ or we respond according to the nature of the devil. The reason we must show manifest the love of Christ is because we are supposed to be custodians of it.”
Dotun Akintunde observed that, “People often neglect the real issues for the less important ones and sharing the love of Christ must be all encompassing in our profession as journalists.”
Akintunde who writes for the New Diplomat however advised that, “We should write less about what the politicians are saying about themselves and face real issues that are concerning the masses, this is a way of showing love as journalist to the downtrodden in the society.”
In his own remark, Ajibola Abayomi said, “The love of Christ is different from worldly love. When you have the love of Christ in you, no matter where you find yourself, even on the political terrain you would behave differently because you would see things differently,” he said.
Ajibola who edits The Leadonline added that, “The love of Christ is different from carnal love you should show love to even those people showing you hatred, we must not bring hatred into our profession as journalists.”
A seminarian and missionary, Mrs. Abiodun Alabi at the fellowship also remarked that no one can give what he does not have.
“When we ask journalists to exhibit the love of Christ, we should know that you cannot give what you don’t have,” she said, stating further that, “This is why we have to reach out to our fellow journalists even those who are believers but who have not been well taught about love from Christ’s perspective. The people of the world think in terms of revenge but as Christians we must obey Jesus who even prayed for those crucifying him. It is difficult but possible by grace.”
A popular adage says, one good turn deserves another, Chaplain of JFC, Pastor David Alabi in his response said the love of Christ must be shown without an expectation of reward in sight.
“The love of man is shown based on an expectation or a reward of earlier good done but the love of Christ is shown even to evil people. The love of Christ is extreme. You have to go through the length. Not only to those who are good to you,” he said.