Characters undeserving of respect

Generally, all humans deserve respect, regardless of their racial or economic background. This includes those scrounging for food from garbage containers. Having been created in God’s image, all humans deserve the utmost respect and due consideration of their conditions. Human dignity is possible, only when catering for other people’s needs. However, there are people, in this world, who, it would, actually, be a crime to accord respect.

The consideration of God’s image of any human being requires viewing things according to God’s viewpoint. As long as rejoicing where God is not rejoicing, one becomes God’s enemy. In other words, any person is on the Lord’s side, when disgusted by what God views as evil. The Book of Proverbs reveals a list of things that God hates, just as normal people should hate.

“There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community” (Proverbs 6:16-19 NIV).

We live in a world that grants respect to those practising what is detestable to God. This refers to people who, one way or the other, project what is listed in the above Scripture. Ironically, in our country, the things listed as detestable to God are fashionable to most people.

It makes it almost impossible to survive without interacting with such people, in Church services or some other social gatherings. One would rather be isolated, on some island, and live a lonesome life. However, avoiding such characters can be called succumbing.

A Christian is not called to succumb to the challenges of this life but is expected to confront evil. Confronting does not mean being combative with such people. It simply means showing disapproval of what is considered wrong. In a politically dominant country such as ours, a person can be labelled an enemy of the state.

Nevertheless, that projects the price of Christianity. If unwilling to confront such people, one is complicit in that wrong behaviour. Let us consider dealing with such personality traits, one at a time.

Haughty eyes: What do haughty eyes mean? Merriam-Webster defines haughty as being “blatantly, disdainfully proud.” Haughty eyes display “looking down” on others. This refers to those seeing others as inferior to him/her. This person respects those who would be as proud as him/herself but considered superior by his or her own standards.

In their surrounding, would generally, be cowed people feeling invalidated. It is impossible to even project one’s talents, when under the supervision of such people. They are so terrible, as to cause illnesses to their subordinates if holding positions of authority.

However, when holding an authoritative position, it is advisable not to allow such characters under one’s supervision. They would most likely backstab or say falsehoods against you, to customers or to superiors. Nothing good comes from people with haughty eyes.

Respecting such people invites the opposite of what is expected of goodwill. They could take one’s husband, or one’s wife. They exist in abundance because there are many people who tolerate their behaviour. They do not deserve respect from good people.

Anyone marrying such characters would be courting serious problems, as to invite life-long misery. One is damned when enduring such a marriage. But the same person is still damned when opting out of that marriage.

Hence, some people die early, due to illnesses caused by co-existing with such characters. There may be some relational concordance when both couples are of haughty behaviour, but quarrelsomeness is unavoidable.

Their children might copy their lifestyles, or succumb to rebellion. Rarely does anything good come from blatantly proud and arrogant people. They assume to know everything and cannot be teachable.

A lying tongue: When being a man, with a lying tongue, proposing for marriage, to an innocent woman, heaven on earth is promised. Each lie is justified by another lie so that the other person is kept anticipating.

When being a woman, the husband may be given the responsibility to cater for other men’s children. The advent of DNA testing has, somehow, brought some relief to some men. But many other lies remain undetected.

The problem with telling lies often is that it becomes difficult to know when the person tells the truth. Anything said would be suspect. One cannot enter into a business contract with such characters and expect to be unharmed. It is essential to strictly avoid people with a lying tongue.

Sadly, liars are often attractive to most people. Ordinary people are easily attracted to lying politicians, rather than truthful ones. Women love men who tell lies. Just as some men love women who tell lies. Successful politicians are pathological liars.

Telling lies is so contagious, as having caused liars to be the only ones succeeding in a corrupt environment. Unfortunately, people treat such liars with respect. God hates such people, whether politicians or not. Why would Christians treat such people with respect?

Hands that shed innocent blood: Zimbabwe is full of known people, who have shed innocent blood, but walking scot-free because, of political impunity. If asking some people how they feel about such things; the answer is always that politics is a dirty game. But no one knows why the dirtiness of politics remains a mysterious conjecture.

Anyone having witnessed a person being killed, but without doing anything about it, would be an accomplice. Some people may give excuses like; nothing can be done because of political connections. That excuse is lame, as something can be done with the murderer.

The captured courts may turn against a person seeking to pursue justice. However, if penalized or possibly killed, in the process of pursuing such justice, one’s soul would be safe. There should never be tolerance over what God hates if one is truly a Christian.

“Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.  Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 10:38-39 NIV).

A person is an accomplice in shading innocent blood when tolerating such activities. Cowardice causes people to keep quiet. Surprisingly, the same people expect justice, when prejudiced. Ignoring injustice has become trendy, in Zimbabwe. Politicians are blamed but without doing anything.

It appears true that where the justice system is captured, nothing can be done. But there is more that can be done, as long as the spirit is willing to pursue such cases. That may be risky, but being what Christianity entails. Justice prevails, at last, as long as good people exist.

Our Zimbabwean story is burdened with sorrow, with many people murdered innocently. We are a cursed nation, which considers politicians as gods. One is considered wise, as long as avoiding anything considered to anger politicians. Sadly, God views such cowards as participants.

A heart that devises wicked schemes: Only God knows what goes on in the minds of human beings. Wicked schemes involve falsifying documents, in order to unfairly gain advantages. One could scheme to murder another person, in order to access his/her property.

Our country is full of such evil schemes. The idea of sanctions, interpreted as having caused our economic problems, is another evil scheme. Ignorant people believe sanctions to be the real cause of our problems. But that is far from the truth. The schemers, who use sanctions as the real reason for our problems, would be taking advantage of People’s ignorance.

A schemer is a person who manipulates another person; taking advantage of his ignorance. This world gives praises to such people, identifying them as shrewd. Like the previous characters, these people survive, only because there are people supporting their evil conduct. If God hates such characters, why do people give them warm acceptance?

The referred schemers include those having found Christianity easier to conduct their nefarious schemes. Ignorant people feel comfortable, associating with such schemers. They innocently fall into their dupes, unknowingly, only to be ripped off their valuables.

Imagine a person who convinces another person that an ordinary stone would be helpful, as long as prayed for. Schemers are conmen who understand the superstitious behaviour of the targeted people. Some women have been raped, after being told that the prophet’s manhood would heal their problematic wombs.

We read about such things in newspapers, but there are many cases that go unreported. In a corrupt environment where the judiciary system would have become nonexistent, many cases go undetected. However, something can still be done about such evil cases. Problem is that many people choose to keep quiet, rather than expose such evil conduct.

In Zimbabwe it has become common, when asking young people what they would be doing in life, to hear them stating: “Ndiri kungo ngwavha ngwavha.” This is Shona slang for scheming—describing an abnormality that has been normalized. One is considered wise when able to scheme and survive. But God labels this behaviour among those things that He hates.

Feet that are quick to rush into evil: Recently, someone came up with a joke that one could sell his small toe in exchange for huge sums of money. Many people became excited about it, desiring to go for it. This shows how our people are willing to do anything for money. These are people who would be willing to commit murder for money.

The unemployed youths have become victims of being used by politicians. They accept illicit drugs, causing them to be intoxicated and then become easily used to commit murder or do anything for money. It is important to realize that our country now carries people who value money more than valuing their own dignity. The majority of our people are now known to be willing to do anything for money.

God hates such characters. But more so, God also hates those who tolerate such people. It is better to be unpopular because one hates such evil things, rather than accept what God clearly views as unacceptable. There is no value that surpasses doing what God likes, in this world.

A false witness who pours out lies: During the armed struggle, such people survived ahead of those who sought to live truthfully. Out of envy, false witnesses would testify that some people would be sellouts. Due to having no mechanism for checking the truthfulness, the guerillas would be quick to believe such lies and many people were killed, as a result.

The proponents of propaganda caused the murder of thousands, during Gukurahundi. But many marriages have also been ruined by such false witnesses. This world is full of people who enjoy seeing the misery of other people. But another wicked behaviour is in allowing such things to go unchallenged. The existence of Christians should eliminate such falsehoods.

The problems of humanity are a result of failure to confront such evils. Anything that is uttered by a false witness would be exposed, as long as pursued vigorously, to detect its falsity. Falsehood can easily be eliminated by those concentrating on truthful information, rather than believing anything without checking the veracity.

When aware that God hates false witnesses, any information that is given would be checked for veracity, before adoption. This is what God requires of those who call themselves “Christians.” The ability to check whether what is said would be true or not is what helps eliminate falsehoods, even in Christianity. Everything needs to be checked for its truthful source, regardless of the person testifying.

A person who stirs up conflict in the community: There are people who are known to cause strife, among people. The fact that two people can be quarrelling, does not necessarily mean both of them would be guilty of causing strife. Of course, it takes two to tango, but that does not always mean both would be wrong.

A good person knows how to pinpoint a problematic person. However, there are people who commonly fail to see the difference. The whole community could be stirred to murder one another, because of one person initiating such conflicts. Yet, anyone with a clean mind can be able to detect the one who would be the trouble causer. Good people know how to produce good reasons to arrive at truthful conclusions. Nevertheless, bad people are commonly found to even agree with the trouble-causer.

When showing disrespect to such detestable people, one should seek to help them see their wrongness. Disrespecting them does not mean hating them. Such people still need to be loved, as to be helped to then see their wrongness. But they do not need to be treated respectfully.

Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from the current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing relief to those having witnessed the strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. Most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long-awaited providential oasis of hope, in a simple conversational tone.

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