The treachery in receiving honour

The planet Earth demands all organic material to be incorporated for decomposition, rather than anything else. This is why a dead body cannot be kept for too long, without exuding a repellent stench. How worse can a human become? The worst is when he has succumbed to death, at which time he needs burial, as soon as possible. Nothing else displays tangible evidence portraying the disadvantages of being physical in this world.

Two realities remain indomitable for corporeal humanity, whether male or female. Worldliness implies living according to the sensual desires of the flesh, but more so, according to the expectations of those of other humans of this world. Overcoming sensual desires of the flesh and worldly expectations has never been an easy task; just as it is impossible to survive without food.

The first of the two appears as controllable, but certainly impossible. This refers to sexual immorality. Great men and women have been disgraced, through sexual scandals. But what is questionable is whether those sitting in the comfort of condemning such people would have, themselves, escaped the sin of sexual immorality, if tested, similarly.

Undoubtedly, millions of people appear normal but have committed hidden sexual scandals of the greatest magnitude. Some people are known to zealously condemn the exposed ones. But no physical human being, except Jesus, has ever lived without committing adultery. Only those born without sexual desires could be counted to have escaped the scourge of sexual immorality.

Bear in mind that a lustful sexual desire towards those of the opposite sex is not different from actually committing the act. This was highlighted by Jesus, in His famous lecture covered in Matthew 5:27-28. The safest commitment for any living human being is to desist from judging those caught committing adultery.

There is no human ever having lived in this world, being not guilty of sexual immorality. The exception may be for those having been born without sexual desires. The existent social veneer, displayed by those projecting dignity, in public, does not, in any way, absolve them. The socially honoured are those who have not been caught or keeping their sensual lusts to themselves.

Only the truth sets humanity free. The key lies in willingness to forgive, regardless of the disdainful immorality observed in others. Forgiving others is dishonourable, as not accepted by the public considerations. One receives honor, only when living according to public expectations. This brings us to the second indomitable reality, incapacitating humanity, which rests in common agreement with the majority.

Separation from others invites dishonour. Most people project being acceptable to ordinary humanity, for purposes of receiving honor in their social standings. Honour is derived from conforming to the expectations of humanity. This appears noble. The only problem is that it grants undeserved honour. Who can reject honor, when coming one’s way?

One would be naïve to assume that it is possible to behave differently when granted honour, which electrifies the ego. Imagine millions of congratulatory messages for achievements made, flowing towards one’s direction. This gives an impression of being smarter than those considered dishonourable. The motivational drives of humanity are premised on desiring honour from fellow humans.

There may only be a few, whose motivations are not for receiving honor but providing for the aspirations of others. This may not always be easy to detect, as those being helped also desire to be honoured. It is also possible to engage in sacrificial undertakings, only to be repaid with vile.

Jealousy is taken lightly, but it stems from that gigantic sin of humanity, called pride. It is impossible to engage in noble endeavours and expect kind treatment. Living in this world requires loving the unlovable and taking no offence. Failure to do so explains the reason why evil characters have massive supporters.

Although regarded as noble, competition is designed to access honour. Even those of one’s relatives are prone to feel extremely uncomfortable when observing any of their lowly regarded persons, rising above expectations. Jesus experienced caustic treatment for providing services to His relatives. They could not accept a despised individual rising to become internationally recognized.

All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” they asked. Jesus said to them, “Surely you will quote this proverb to me: ‘Physician, heal yourself! Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum. I Tell you the truth,” he continued, “No prophet is accepted in his hometown” (Luke 4:22-24 NIV).

Jesus’ remark was an undeniable truism. Ordinary humans cannot understand such a phenomenon. There is no need to judge people harshly, concerning that behavior, as embedded in human nature, and impossible to remove. People are categorized according to social strata. Competition demands degrading others, by exposing their unacceptable private lives, highlighting what reverses their dignity.

The common instinct is to suppress everything good but highlight everything bad about competitors. This casts the inexplicable mechanisms of the human mind, stemming from the actual sin which Jesus came down to eradicate, from humanity. The common sins of humanity stem from invalidation, rather than advancing the noble projects by those considered lowly.

Ordinary humans prefer degrading, rather than improving the despised individuals’ endeavours. Anyone attempting to advance goodness would drive jealous people berserk, coming up with questions like: “Who do you think you are, to change the world?” Such a question causes cowards to scamper into hiding.

In their reasoning, cowards assume that it ought to be characters from Mars, to perform good works. It is not that people are financially incapacitated or unable to provide support for good works. Nonperformance arises from the common consideration of despised people’s threat to usurp honourable people’s positions in public eyes.

There would be no shade of truth in that reasoning. Nevertheless, what dominates in proud people’s minds is the majestic sin of humanity, seeking to promote self, rather than promote the despised ones. This assertion could be denied vehemently, by most people, but confirming the real reason for which Jesus was killed on the cross.

Once upon a time, in Zimbabwe, a certain man manufactured a rudimental helicopter, out of scrap metal. The Aviation authorities could not grant him a license to test his achievements. I suppose his innovations could have been accepted, if originating from China, for instance. The man was considered too common to disturb the honourable public view of those in authority. Rather than receive such noble innovations with open arms, stifling them appealed far more, rather than acceptance.

There is no truth in that lack of financing incapacitates good ideas. In Zimbabwe, there are people with unbelievable accumulation of wealth. They sit in the comfort of being honoured as the richest when compared with the majority. To them, the important thing comprises the accumulation of wealth without considering anything that benefits ordinary humans.

Such people are addicted to being accorded with honour, rather than granting the despised people of this world, honor. To them, dignity implies outsmarting other fellow humans. It takes understanding the mechanics of the human mind to appreciate the equitable distribution of wealth. To the proud people, life is about being honoured by others.

They dislike being despised; yet they despise others, nevertheless. Their behaviour stems from not knowing the origin of humanity. The vagabond on a street corner is not different from the executives manning the gigantic corporate organization. The vagabonds may appear degraded and unpleasant to look at. But, encased in their physical bodies would be a volcanic power, impossible to contain, when granted freedom. All humans need honour, regardless of their background.

Those despising such people are unaware that they would be despising God who created them in His image. This portrays the ignorance that envelopes the entire humanity. The suffering would possibly change overnight, where the entire world accommodates the most miserable people in this world. This is possible when the mindset of humanity adopts the opposite of what prevails.

The knowledge brought by Jesus is as powerful as granting the understanding that accessing life is not an impossibility. Those hoarding wealth die, just as everyone else dies. The decomposition of their physical bodies does not benefit anyone, yet they would have spent their whole lifetimes accumulating wealth. The desire to be honoured by others serves only to protect the pathetic ignorance.

No value surpasses the consideration of what goes beyond the grave. When desiring to be honoured, one would be better off striving to be on the parabolic righthand side with the sheep, rather than with the goats. That parable removes the idea of pursuing Christianity when considering the prerequisites of induction into Christianity.

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world” (Matthew 25:31-34 NIV).

The pivotal point to take note of, in the above Scripture, is that the mentioned righteous people on the right are not, necessarily, “Christians.” They may not have considered themselves as working for their salvation. Christians comprise those who Jesus said were provided for, by the considered righteous ones. Those righteous people may have had nothing to do with the Bible or Christianity.

They would be different from the considered honourable Christians, today. Theirs would have been to support noble services by providing for those engaged. They would not necessarily consider the background of such service providers. In their support for good works, they end up supporting God’s prophets.

“He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives the one who sent me. Anyone who receives a prophet, because he is a prophet, will receive a prophet’s reward, and anyone who receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man will receive a righteous man’s reward. And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward” (Matthew 10:40-42 NIV).

As mentioned earlier, there are good projects promoted by the despised people of this world. But rather than support the despised, the considered honourable people feel threatened when the despised people become famous. Such so-called “honourable” people would then spend time suppressing the nobility of those they despise, without realizing that they would be suppressing God’s work. This is similar to those who engaged in suppressing Jesus’ mission, without knowing that they were suppressing the observable works of God.

The key lies in knowing that there is no better or worse human being on earth. All were created in God’s image, deserving to be accorded equal status. That attitude alone enables one to end up supplying God’s prophets unaware but being accorded the reward reserved for God’s prophet.

There is nothing wrong with pursuing Christianity, as long as one knows what he/she would be doing. This is different from those pursuing Christianity for what they would get from Christianity. To be a Christian, Jesus said one has to consider surrendering everything, including one’s own life. But Jesus did not, necessarily condemn those opting out of Christianity:

“Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, any of you unable to give up everything he has cannot be my disciple. Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear” (Luke 14:31-35 NIV).

If the above passage of Scripture fails to reach a considered serious analyst, there is nothing more left to help such an individual? The point being put across here is that one can still be counted among the righteous people. Without necessarily, committing oneself to do what one honestly considers to be unachievable. The tenets of freedom still apply in honesty and integrity. Christian treachery has remained intact for centuries. But this article may be awakening for the privileged readers, desiring to do something about God’s works. There is nothing greater than supporting God’s work, by those living and able to access messages, such as this one.

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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