Jesus often taunted His disciples for lacking faith. “You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “How long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” (Matthew 17:17) (NIV). It is important to know the reason why Jesus derided those disciples for having little faith. But we have to first understand what faith means.
Faith carries the aspect of responsibility, which enables the attainment of power. Faith is not necessarily associated with performing miracles, only, for the sake of mesmerizing people. Let us first project this with the parable of the Good Samaritan in mind. When analyzed carefully, the Good Samaritan understood the principle of responsibility. He took the responsibility to care for a stranger left for dead, by evil robbers, as if he had committed the offense, himself.
He took the injured person to the hospital, without requiring anyone else to take over the responsibility of accumulating medical bills. He asked those hospital staffers to charge everything against his account, without entertaining ideas of searching the injured man’s relatives. He assumed being the closest relative of the injured man, though being a stranger.
In that parable, Jesus was talking about responsibility, the definition of which includes acceptance of blame, which also entitles one with power. That which is blamed has got power. That which is exonerated from responsibility loses power. The most miserable people are those without the responsibility of what happens in Zimbabwe. Such people are effects, rather than being the cause-point.
When Jesus spoke of not having faith, He did not mean faith had to be acquired from somewhere. Faith is inherent in every person created in God’s image. It is neglected through self-determinism. A person chooses to be controlled by the environment, rather than controlling the environment. One finds it convenient to go along with the crowd, neglecting to be himself. The first time a person chooses to submit to the environment is at the point of being taught by parents. Those parents would have already assumed that it is convenient to be submissive to the environment, rather than be oneself. See [Is it necessary to teach another person to be good?].
The late former President Robert Mugabe had absolute power in Zimbabwe. As power is abstract, how did Mugabe attain it? Looked at carefully one realizes that Mugabe’s power came from being blamed for everything wrong in Zimbabwe. Without knowledge of this data, Mugabe eventually ceded that power to the Western countries, by blaming sanctions over his failures. Mugabe surrendered his power to those imposing sanctions.
While credited with championing the democratic change, Tsvangirai was also a weak opposition leader. But, one might ask: if weak, how did Tsvangirai win the 2008 elections? In 2005 MDC had suffered the biggest split, ever imagined, leaving Tsvangirai’s faction a minority in parliament. But it was Tsvangirai’s faction that overwhelmingly won elections, in 2008.
His winning did not mean much to him, as still not accepting blame. We have to dig out what had caused him to win, in the first place. It is not a secret that, immediately, after the split in 2005, Mugabe took sides. Some may advance the narrative that Ncube had been sponsored by Zanu pf. That may as well be true, but for the sake of this presentation, I beg to differ.
By blaming Tsvangirai, Mugabe, actually, empowered Tsvangirai. Mugabe had already empowered the European countries by blaming them for sanctions. But he conferred part of that power to Tsvangirai, labeling him as the stooge of the West. The cause for Tsvangirai’s popularity and subsequent win in 2008, was the blame conferred on him by ZANU PF. Tsvangirai had not offered anything whimsical to the voters, except receiving blame for sanctions. Generally, Mugabe still held power, due to blameworthy for the economic meltdown.
That which you blame for your condition is the cause, over you so that you become the effect. Mugabe had empowered the European nations, unnecessarily. The Zimbabweans had empowered Mugabe, by blaming him for everything. In turn, Mugabe had ceded that power to the European countries. Of course, Mugabe felt exonerated, when pointing out his reasons for failure, to the populace. It is unfair to blame Mugabe for handing over the power elsewhere, instead of those who gave him that power, in the first place. Locally, Mugabe granted the power to Tsvangirai, labeling him as the stooge of the Western countries.
Part of the reason why Tsvangirai could not out-rightly assume that power is not knowing the mechanism of power. His faction had always been shrugging off the label of being branded a Western stooge. By refusing, Tsvangirai was, actually, rejecting the power, granted to him by Mugabe, instead of gracefully receiving it. This is what ignorance does.
He had all along sought to grab power from Mugabe, yet at the same time rejecting that power from Mugabe himself. Remember, that which is blamed, holds power, as according it with the responsibility to exercise authority, whose responsibility is symbolized in blameworthy.
In one of my previous submissions, I mentioned that Mugabe’s winning elections in 1980 had nothing to do with policies. Mugabe’s winning was due to being blamed by Smith. Ian Smith had preferred Joshua Nkomo to Mugabe. But, instead of conferring power to his preferred choice, Smith empowered Mugabe. Smith, actually, empowered Mugabe, unnecessarily, by labeling Mugabe as more evil than Nkomo.
The Western countries had also feared the advancement of communism in Africa. As if aware that accepting blameworthy enables power, Mugabe had boldly declared: “We would like to see a one-party Marxist state in Zimbabwe.” That statement alone sent shivers down the spines of the Rhodesian government. Mugabe was then declared the Rhodesian enemy number one. It was at that very moment, that Mugabe received power, from Ian Smith.
Mugabe was not, and had never been a Marxist. This had been the political strategy which, whether by coincidence or not, Mugabe applied and won the elections in 1980. This was unlike Tsvangirai who became apologetic when accused of being a Western stooge. Of course, Tsvangirai had desired to court relations with the war veterans. However, power had not been with the war veterans, but with the Western countries. That which was being blamed had power. Tsvangirai could have, actually, taken advantage of that and out-rightly won.
Remember, Nkomo, whose ZIPRA forces were more equipped, as supported by Marxist Russia, was apologetic about being Marxist. Like Tsvangirai, instead of accepting blame, Nkomo sought to convince the Zimbabwean populace that he was not a Marxist. This is how power shifted to Mugabe who had accepted the blame of being called a Marxist. I am very sorry for the old man, who did not have the data being put across in this presentation.
The other day I was watching a video by Pastor Shingi Munyeza. I liked his passionate plea for Zimbabweans to move away from occultism. He accurately pointed out the need for everyone to take responsibility for our country. There isn’t much that I can take away from the man of God, except for one thing: The Pastor didn’t understand the meaning and the significance of faith. As a follower of Jesus, I would have expected Him to practice what Jesus practiced.
In Jesus’ case, The Jews had been under the yoke of burdensome taxes by the Roman government. Jesus never brought Himself so low as to go on His bended knees, persuading the Roman rulers to remove those burdensome taxes. Jesus represented that thing called faith, which empowers Him to be the cause-point. In other words, the idea of accepting blame for everything, like the Good Samaritan, is exactly what empowers, and is called responsibility.
A person who takes responsibility for everything is powerful. Jesus took the blame unto Himself, by accepting blame for all our sins. There is no magic about that, except knowing that by accepting blame, one takes power upon himself. Power means taking responsibility. You cannot receive power without accepting the responsibility that goes with it. This is why Jesus said those with faith as little as a mustard seed could move mountains.
“So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20) (NKJV).
In his narration, Pastor Munyeza says he, together with other business people, visited the EU in 2013, appealing for sanctions to be removed. As a result of that expedition, the sanctions were removed, except for Mugabe and his wife. But, who can honestly say things became better, as a result of sanctions removal by the EU? I, personally, doubt it as, apparently, the economy continued to slide into its oblivion.
The money that was used to travel all the way to Europe, by those business people was a wastage of resources. Only the imprudent politicians ought to have been the ones to go begging the EU to remove sanctions. But, certainly, not the level-headed business people of the caliber of Pastor Shingi Munyeza. The EU did not have any power over the Zimbabwean situation, at all. Except as was given to them, unnecessarily, by Robert Mugabe.
At the moment, the power rests with Donald Trump, as the USA is still holding onto ZIDERA, concerning sanctions on Zimbabwe. Zanu pf could, unnecessarily, expend millions, trying to secure release from those sanctions. But as long as failing to address the fundamentals, of power, they are missing the mark. Actually, that power could eventually be transferred to another entity, like China, perhaps. Securing funding from IMF or World Bank fixes Zimbabwe on the bondage of those financial institutions.
Being bonded on financial debt should, actually, be viewed as worse than colonialism. Debt means an inability to exercise self-determinism. Debts give a false impression of financial relief, allowing illusionary freedom to the current leaders. But fixing the future generations into inescapable slavery. That is the price of irresponsibility, which manifests in blaming others, rather than self. Responsibility is inseparable from the faith, which can be defined as:
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith, we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible” (Hebrews 11:1-2) (NKJV).
The above scripture is more profound than can casually be imagined. Failure to understand the virtue of this Scripture lies in the inability to appreciate the substance of faith. In other words, it is unnecessary to encourage others to have faith, rather than helping others to appreciate being faith, themselves. Ordinary Christians encourage praying harder, so as to have faith. Others would, actually, venture into some business projects, blindly, assuming that to be the application of faith. It is like seeing a lion coming, but avoiding doing anything, except asking God to miraculously protect one from that hungry lion.
If the lion would not be hungry, as to avoid pouncing, the same person would assume that to be God’s miraculous protection due to his faith. However, if the lion would be hungry, as to pounce on him, he would then die blaming God for not protecting him. Basically, this means that a person who is asked to have faith is different from the one appreciating the evidence of things not seen. That does not imply being blind to the observed physical things.
Faith comes from understanding that the things which are visible were not made of visible things. The most important of all data stems from appreciating that it is through God’s word that everything was created. And nothing that is visible and invisible was not created through God’s word. This includes the fact that humans were created in God’s image. In the entire Bible, there is no Scripture that is as profound as the one about God creating humans in His own image.
This happens to be the Scripture that, actually, caused Jesus to issue statements like: “You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “How long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” (Matthew 17:17) (NIV).
God is the cause-point over everything. Therefore, all humans, created in God’s image, ought to be cause-point, in their own circumstances. Other than being the effects, they should cause things to go in the right direction. A human being causes things to be there, even though not having been there, because he was created in God’s image. There are so many things appearing as fascinating, as achieved through computer technology. But these are just a tip of the iceberg, when considering the human potential capabilities, as created in God’s image.
What causes failure, is the disbelief of having been created in God’s image. If nothing is impossible with God, the same applies to those created in His image. Jesus told His disciples that if they had faith, as little as a mustard seed, they could move mountains. Or even do greater things than He had done. Such abilities are inherent in every human being. Failure lies in lacking faith.
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.
The Print copy is now available at Amazon.com for $13.99
Also available as an e-copy at Lulu.com for $6.99