On August 10, 2019, The Sun newspaper published, how Adeniyi Olayinka, a taxi driver returned $2,400 to Dele, his passenger, who forgot the money in his taxi cab on July 29, 2019. Adeniyi was being derided and denounced in the most scatting terms by some people, saying that he would die in poverty for his ‘foolish act’. Perhaps, he was tempted to keep the money but he refused to waver at his resolve to return it.
My thoughts tumbled over , when I read it. Is it not very exasperating for people to feel in this way? If he had kept the money and Dele reported his loss to the public, these people, for sure, would be cursing him. In their anger, they might even accuse all taxi drivers as being thieves. By condemning his act of integrity, they are saying by implication that it is good to exploit situations. Why do they condemn stealing and armed robbery? Should our leaders at the National and State Governments be doing so? If they should, why are some of them blamed for inflated contracts? Would Adeniyi’s wife and children not be entering taxi caps again? If they do, and the driver sees it as an opportunity to make money, by selling any of them, would the comfort of the $2,400 compensate him? Would he grieve, if lecturers subject his daughters to ‘sex for marks’, since what matters is self satisfaction, even at the expense of others?
Uncle Adeniyi returned the money to the owner because it was not his. He would not ignore the moral instructions he received from his mother. He would not forget also that his wife is a good Christian. He informed her, when he saw the money and she told him to return it to the owner. As a member of taxi hiring union, he would not go against his union’s regulation of returning such money to the owner. They even insist that their members must not carry any passenger after dropping someone. This is to prevent the new passenger from stealing anything forgotten by a passenger. Uncle obeyed that law, even after dropping Dele at 1.30 am!
While appreciating Uncle Adeniyi for his honesty and the reasons behind it, our conduct, at all times, should be regulated by the love for God and the demands of His Word. What the Lord Jesus will do, if He was in that position should guide our conduct. Well, some people assert that they do not believe in God but, when see small wahala, even malaria attack, you see them looking for God. One of them was in the airplane and when it ran into a turbulent storm, in panic, he started shouting, ‘Oh! God!’ The people with him, who knew him and what he believed, wondered. One of such people died many years ago and his relation went around looking for a Church to bury him. Imagine! I attended the wake-keep.
Not fearing God, some people said that Uncle would die in poverty for not behaving as they would have done if they came across such money. If he had pocketed the $2,400, what offence would he say that Dele, his passenger, had committed against him? Was it by hiring his taxi? If he reached home, celebrating for taking what did not belong to him, while Dele would be in mourning mood, what would God say? If he exploited the situation, how would he feel if someone did the same thing to him, his wife or to his children? What should control us should not be personal satisfaction in the things we do, not how much money we can make from someone, and not whether someone will or will not discover the wrong thing we did. It is what God will say about us that matters.
It is possible for some people to regard us as stupid, as they did to Uncle, for not joining the bandwagon in notoriety. A child of God refrains from doing anything that will earn him eternal condemnation. In that case, the opinion of the public does not worry him. At the funeral of a certain rich man, who would never give a kobo to anyone, many people were there praising him surprisingly. A mad man said that the dead man was stupid. “See,” pointing at the grave, he said, “is it in this narrow space they will put you? Will it contain all your money in the banks, your houses and all your cars?”
I thank God for Uncle Adeniyi’s wife, who is reputed to be a good Christian. I hope that she is born-again. It is good to marry such ladies, provided that the husband is also a child of God. It is only iron that can sharpen another iron. Being a good Christian and such people are known by their fear of God, she advised her husband to return the money to the owner. Not every wife could do that. She refused to consider the financial challenges of her family. She might have considered God’s injunction, “What will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?” The family could gain the $2,400 and at the end of the day, she and her husband would lose their soul and go to hell. Her possible plea that it was not her, but her spouse, that stole the money, would not stand since she did not object to its use.
It is good that what compelled Adeniyi to do what many people will not do by returning the money to the owner was prompted by his respect for his mother and his wife. It is not, anyway, good enough. It is mere morality. Christianity goes beyond that. His reason should be because of God. Morality is just an aspect of expressing Christianity. Situations may arise, where it may collapse, but it is not so with Christianity.
Those who frowned at his honesty and concluded that he would die poor for rejecting that amount of money, do not know that promotion, in all its forms, comes only from God. It is God and Him alone, Who gives the power to make wealth. It is possible for Uncle to use the money in meeting his family needs, including the N170,000 outstanding amount in his hire purchase taxi account, and for sure, it will give him some peace, temporary peace! A month later, he may be sick and the hospital bills may be far beyond the $2,400. Will he still have peace? He may even not survive the sickness! “Do to others, what you expect them to do to you,” God’s Word enjoins us. It is what a man sows that he reaps. Nobody can sow evil and expects to reap prolific harvest.
When the owner of the taxi cab, which Uncle bought on hire purchase, heard that he returned $2,400 to the owner, he expected that he would give him a huge amount of money from the appreciation gift he received. It was reported that Dele gave him only N5,000! That was unfair but there is no problem. God is the One, Who rewards us. One day, we shall hear his testimony, so long as he is not angry with Dele.
For further comment, Please contact: Osondu Anyalechi: 0802 3002-471; [email protected]