The genuine, as opposed to the counterfeit

In this world, there is commonly no question about good and evil, viewed as opposed to each other. Just as black and white are opposed to each other. The real challenge of humanity lies in mixing the two opposites. An explosion is triggered due to counterfeiting between the positive and negative currencies. Safety lies in keeping the two apart. The implication of anything counterfeit is what involves misrepresentation.

How does one select the genuine from the counterfeit? The ability to see what the counterfeit represents is a rare quality possessed by only a few. The choice of the majority always invalidates the truthful minority. Undoubtedly, some people could see that our country was headed for disaster, as early as 1980. Those who could see, being the minority, assumed convenience in conforming to the majority, rather than sustaining Jesus’ advocacy.

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it. Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. But their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles?” (Matthew 7:13-16 NIV).

The subject of false prophets has constantly remained, even when Bible readers are aware of such prophets’ unavoidable destructive nature. People can constantly talk about false prophets being deceptive. But that alone suggests the misrepresentation of truth. The largest portions of our society follow false prophets, only because they preach what agrees with their desires. People willingly choose to follow those who preach what meets their interests.

Jesus’ teaching was not directed to the generality of humanity but to the disciples. The entire humanity is headed for destruction, resulting from the common appeal to sinfulness. The syndrome of deception is the worst malady, the world has ever known. Seven million people celebrated that Zimbabwe had attained independence when the opposite was true.

There remained a small minority that knew the country was headed for disaster, but their voices could not be considered. The law of dilution neutralized the conviction of the minority, who envisaged safety in conforming. When Jesus suggested going through the narrow gate, He was inferring to the precarious condition of opposing the flood of the majority.

Going through the narrow gate can be tantamount to suicide. But it takes a live fish to swim upstream when the flood is flowing downstream. The counterfeit appeals to the majority, although leading to destruction. A country is blessed when those with a positive vision, speak out. The question is how those with a positive vision can be persuaded to stand up for the truth.

When the majority is inclined towards the negative direction, the positive minority would be cowed to succumb. However, if the majority becomes inclined towards the positive direction, it is the negative minority that would be cowed to succumb. This describes how the world is subject to gravitational pull, which forces all objects to be attached to it.

Standing up for a good cause, until death, is what determines value in an individual. Nothing else is worth achieving, when unable to make a positive difference. One can be famous and highly adored but remain in the same flood heading towards destruction. Building with straws can be laughable, but its structural appearance gives hope for something better.

How many good people are prepared to cast away their ego, to grant hope for the future? Think of the predicament of Noah, involved with the construction of a gigantic Ark, without receiving support. He may have received more discouragement than support. But in Noah a resilient man remained noble causing the unassuming project, as God directed him, to succeed.

The entire world is a façade, built upon the foundation of deceptive civilization. The Parabolic sin of Adam led us into this debilitating mess. Humanity remains attached to the direction towards destruction. It is easy for a timid person to surrender, with hands up in despair. But a little impact can make a difference, rather than doing nothing. If one’s effort could, at least, save one person out of millions, that would be commendable before God.

That is what remaining alive in everything that this world entails. The parable of the talents gives a portion of what moulds anyone to make a difference. Our physical eyes deceive us for the greater part of our lives. We live in a world where some things appear significant when they would be representing something else.

The physical appearance might convince some people with promises of goodwill when the reality would be the opposite. This ascribes to the real condition that makes this planet a hell when others view it as paradise. While most people die in disgrace, a few eventually discover that it is not always gold that glitters. Hence, the message of Jesus is intended for the minority.

The most miserable of this world are those dying desiring to prove a point. They desire to prove their ingenuity and leave a legacy, rather than dying in miserable conditions. Others die satisfied, after having accumulated strings of personal properties, unattainable by the majority.

True happiness does not invite the ego that comes with the accumulation of multiple properties, impossible to utilize for the common good. Such a person becomes blind, as unable to see the poor people surrounding him. The genuine authenticates ethical conditions, while the counterfeit can be observed as unorthodox. There is no need to always think deeply about matters of ethics.

A human being is basically good. He loses his dignity when succumbing to failure to see wrongness in his behaviour. The simplest way of avoiding the counterfeit is to appreciate that the genuine remains spiritual, while the counterfeit departs from spirituality to materialism. What attracts the physical is always the counterfeit, as opposed to the spirit, sustained in truth.

The common denominator between the genuine and the counterfeit is in desiring survival. A person who falls into the trap of the counterfeit desires survival, just as the person who avoids the counterfeit desires survival. It would, therefore, be wrong to treat a person who falls for deception as different. It is unnecessary to treat such people as enemies. Their only problem would be that of being misinformed.

The idea of loving one’s enemies and praying for those persecuting one comes from the consideration of deception being causative. The story of Joseph highlights the condition of distinguishing the cause of enmity. In the end, Joseph points out to his brothers, the real problem, rather than them having been the problem. It takes only a spiritual person to see behind the physical.

When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?” So they sent word to Joseph, saying, “Your father left these instructions before he died: This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.’ Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father.” When their message came to him, Joseph wept.

His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. “We are your slaves,” they said. But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them (Genesis 50:15-21 NIV)

The final analysis reveals that the counterfeit is self-centred, while the genuine is altruistic. Joseph appears as forgiving his brothers, but he is driven by his knowledge of choosing the genuine from the counterfeit. The counterfeit personalities would still be persuaded in that Joseph’s brothers deserved to be punished for their evil deeds. Those brothers also knew that what they did to Joseph was wrong and unacceptable.

From a spiritual standpoint, a person observes what cannot be perceived by those on the physical plane. The physical and the spiritual ought not to be treated as the two opposites. They are not, except in the area of deception. The physical can be utilized optimally for spiritual development. The physical humans are riding on the same vessel, even though others are misinformed.

Jesus pronounced that the spiritual people were expected to be the light of the world. Rather than treating those susceptible to deception, as enemies, they deserve to be loved and treated as friends. Christianity is a business of taking responsibility at all times. The wrongness cannot be found in people who live in darkness. Wrongness can only be found in those expected to be the light.

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16 NIV)

The definition of responsibility cannot be different from admitting being the culprit. When Jesus accepted the cross upon Himself He had considered the idea of taking responsibility. In other words, like Joseph, Jesus received acerbic treatment, not for His sins, but for our sins. He became responsible for our sins, leaving us scot-free.

Jesus indicated that there would be no considerable change in the behaviour of humanity until His second coming. To expect goodwill to triumph is as good as expecting water to come out from the rock. That miracle is possible, only with God. This is what occupied the mind of Joseph when forgiving his errant brothers.

The responsibility of Christianity is a serious business, which calls for not entertaining malice, under extreme provocation. The counterfeit provides an appetite for revenge, while the genuine invites an appetite to forgive. Murderers indeed deserve to be punished. But committing murder, itself, is a condition of serving a more severe punishment.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:3-8 NIV)

Good people, who distinguish what is good from what is bad in Zimbabwe, are in abundance. They would do well to rise and change bad conditions for the better. Polarization implies that we have some people who were created in God’s image, while others were created differently. However, that suggestion continues to enhance the idea of treating the counterfeit as genuine.

We are about to access exciting times, as a Zimbabwean country. The past has been, embarrassingly, so depressive but the future is now promising to be brighter and joyous for everyone. The encouragement is directed at those aware of being spiritual, rather than assuming to be wholly physical. It is now a question of how many people can be influenced to understand the principle of integrity.

Those still stuck on the accumulation of properties without adding value to others, would sadly remain stuck on counterfeit conditions. On the question of what one does to enhance survival, lies the genuine significance of life. This is where God would be found. It can only be a mentally sick person who spends the rest of his life chasing after the wind, which cannot be harvested.

Christianity is not necessarily about always doing what is good to obtain salvation. It is also not about listening to any other person, except Jesus. Leadership gives comfort, but it also carries the risk of failure to grasp the value of Christ. The promise to receive eternal life does not come from individuals but from Christ. Truthful information comes directly from the source.

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 who have 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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