The fantastic truism, as ensconced in the principle of creation cannot be substituted for anything. Jesus was more informed than any other person who ever lived in this world. But He refused to take the position of being above others. I suppose all problems of the world are premised on the false data, concerning the idea of authoritarianism. If all of us are created in God’s image why should there be superiors above others? Jesus taught His disciples what could not be taught to everyone:
“Jesus called them together and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many’” (Matthew 20:25-28) (NIV)
Dictators, around the globe, hold some false assumption that they are superior to everyone else. Many people, especially, in Africa, assume that information to be true. However, this has got no basis, whatsoever, as God created all humans as equals. However, that does not mean all humans are the same, in terms of knowledge and capabilities. This is just as the beasts are not the same in terms of their instinctive abilities and characteristics.
Divergent species are peculiar in their instinctive abilities. Only humans are confused species. One cannot teach a lion to eat grass or teach a sheep to behave like a leopard. It is natural for a bird to fly, without having to be taught, necessarily. While there could be some bit of coaching from their own groups, those species carry natural abilities, inherited from creation.
When listening to pre-scholars being asked what they would do when they grow up, answers are often fascinating. Those children would like to adopt what they see others do, not, necessarily, what they were created to be. My grandson wanted to be President Robert Mugabe, after watching the former late President speaking on TV. The more one listens to young children, about their future careers, one gets fascinated.
What is observed among those little children is the condition of human behavior. Most of what is done by adults has got nothing to do with their chosen careers, in life. In other words, what they do is not what they were created to be. The majority of them went to school because they were forced to do so. Others wanted to play football, or pursue some musical career, but were sternly inhibited, by the authoritarian parents. The environment cannot allow people to be themselves. No-one is allowed to pursue what identifies with his/her own natural capabilities, or talents.
The renowned geniuses in information technology could effectively testify that their formative challenges could not have been complications of their novel ideas. They were opposed by those holding authoritative positions in the field of information technology. Some of them might have been opposed by relatives, especially parents. Others got opposed by political ideologies or religious doctrines.
In short, this world believes in authoritarianism, yet not benefiting from authoritarianism. All humans are expected to behave according to the set patterns of behavior, crafted by authoritarians. Children are expected to do things according to the customarily formulated ideas. Not desiring to be regarded as rebels or outcasts, those children tend to conform. They feel comfortable when succumbing than pursue what identifies with them.
Graveyards are full of people who could have, actually, solved most problems experienced in our living conditions. We have medical doctors, not born to be in such professions. Yet such doctors are regarded as qualified, as long as holding qualification certificates. They are accorded with professional respect, even though their calling would not be in such professions. The same applies to professional activities in other fields.
Young children, articulately, expressing desiring to be in some profession, are known to change, along the way. But in most cases, such changes would be determined by new attractions. For instance, one might have wanted to do engineering, after having been attracted to it by some genius in the same field. Most of our young people, actually, move from one career to another, before finally settling in what gives them comfort.
Notice that such interests are driven by comfort, rather than the natural calling. One can have more than one talent, but the fundamental principle for deciding on career choice ought to be servitude. This excludes envy or mere comfort. Such consideration is determined by one simple factor—there being no-one else handling the problem, according to the concerned person’s viewpoint.
This is directed by what needs to be accomplished in the environment. This means focusing on what one does best, but without anyone else doing it, in the environment. That consideration is driven by what enhances the livelihood of others. It draws enjoyment in altruism, which answers the question: “Are people glad that I live?” This is different from a self-centered question, where the question asked is: “Am I happy that I live?”
Chances are that those hobnobbing from one career to another, seek to answer the last question. Instead of thinking in terms of investing in pastures to be green, one gets obsessed with seeking greener pastures. Those answering the first question desire to be highly effective, enabling others to benefit, because of their presence. These are relied on, as all social and economic problems are guaranteed on such people, rather than those with self-interests.
Those stampeding to take up political positions are always mostly, not driven by what they can give, but what they get. One could assume that lawyers are professionals who keep ethics in. I could be wrong, but one of the reasons for our shambolic conditions could be there being too many lawyers in our country. In other words, we have lawyers who are into law, but for wrong reasons.
Imagine how difficult it can be to fight corruption with abundant dubious lawyers around? Regardless of how serious your crime, chances are that you could riddle yourself out, as long as having sufficient money to bribe lawyers, magistrates, and judges. Let alone the proclivity to bribe police officers and prosecutors. Society turns out to be a haven for criminals, because of those having assumed the legal profession, with the intention of benefit from it.
This goes for various other professions assumed, only for self-benefit. While appearing as having good intentions under a corrupt environment, the country goes to oblivion under the purview of such legal officers. Having attained the levels of corruption as typified in Zimbabwe, even the most corrupt ones, come to a point where they also get negatively affected, as to be unable to enjoy their loot. In simple terms, as long as one pursues objectives that benefit self at the expense of others, one would be corrupt.
Most people could be practicing self-centered mechanism, without assuming to be practicing corruption. But it is the degree at which any country would have fallen into corruption that makes it appear as worse than others. Otherwise, any form of self-centeredness is a form of corruption. There is nothing worse than an obsession with self-benefits, at the expense of everyone else.
The starting point, leading to the idea of self-centeredness, is the assumption that leadership makes one more important or knowledgeable than others. That is a naked false data. There is no human being that is more important than others. The reason why we have some people stuck in what appears as ignorance is the system that has often graded people according to class. Let us now analyze what was in the mind of Jesus when He gave His disciples the following leadership principle:
“Jesus called them together and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many’” (Matthew 20:25-28) (NIV).
Here, Jesus shows that the idea of exercising authority over others is not Godly. But, why is it that, in Christianity, this continues to be practiced across the world? Well, some people talk about servant leadership, when trying to apply this Scripture. But they still fall short, as, obviously, they would appear odd, in the world that puts importance on bossy leadership. They call it governance when in actual fact it would be a dictatorship. The leadership principle was clearly delineated by Crist, Himself, in the following Scripture:
“But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted” (Matthew 23:8-12) (NIV).
Of course, the detractors of Jesus advance a theory that what Jesus said in this scripture is anarchical. How possible can a group of people meet, without anyone taking the position of being in charge? Their concern is, indeed, justified, as far as the sons of man are concerned. This is just as Jesus never enforced this rule to be applied on a human level. The above Scripture is applicable, only to God’s children, as opposed to the sons of man.
Jesus was not advocating for chaos in a Christian organization, necessarily. He was, actually, enforcing orderliness, by stating that He was the only Rabbi and Teacher. Of course, positions can be as many as there are members in the Church, according to Spiritual gifts. But all taking instructions from the same Teacher, who is Jesus Christ. Let us look at the workability of what Paul meant: “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers” (Ephesians 4:11) (NIV).
This is like the functions of a human body, composed of many parts. There is no part of a human body that can claim to be more important than others. There is also no part of the body that works as an independent unit. Those parts exist for the benefit of the rest of the human body. None looks at its own interests, at the expense of others. In the twelfth chapter of the Book of 1 Corinthians, Paul beautifully laid down how God’s Church functions.
“There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another, gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another, miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines” (1 Corinthians 12:6-11) (NIV).
The proponents of authoritarianism have used some of Paul’s writings, to Timothy and Titus, as implying ordinations for authoritarian control over others. Those religious groups fail to make distinctions between ordinary groupings as opposed to a Christian organization. A Christian organization is governed according to what Jesus said in Matthew 23:8-12. This is different from how ordinary humans understand and practice religiosity. They are not different from how the Israelites demanded to have a King, causing God to declare that they had rejected Him (1 Samuel 8:4-8).
The stable datum lies in that human beings were created in God’s image. Therefore, each person in our surroundings is God’s image. A spiritual person looks beyond what currently manifests in the behavior of each person. The person might be a serial killer, but that does not take away the fact that he would be God’s image. Therefore, Jesus is the light that could be used to help that person to come out of the perceived darkness. That does not mean the person showing that person the light would be better than him. The man who helped Paul to gain his sight in Damascus was not, necessarily, better than Paul, for instance.
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. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long-awaited providential oasis of hope.
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