Truth is found in astringent conflicts

Honey is the most valuable syrup in the entire world. Lovers romantically call each other “honey,” which shows that honey symbolizes the most relished substance. People focus on honey more than the inevitable conflict with bees, whose sting can be fatally dangerous. Professional bee-keepers use special gear or other techniques to avoid being stung, in their quest for accessing honey.

The love of honey is undoubtedly copious, across the world. However, the subject of my topic is not, necessarily, about the cherished sweetness of honey. But the analogue serves, where those focusing on stingers can hardly expect the taste of honey. Hence, professional bee-keepers contrive varied gimmicks to ensure harvesting honey without causing menace to their bodies.

Similarly, the consideration of truth invites conflicts, causing cowards to prefer avoiding confronting. Truth is more valuable than honey, as its substance goes beyond mere nutritional value. Truth is the epitome of life, as opposed to falsehood. Jesus, the advocate of truth, insinuated that obtaining life implies a willingness to decant falsehoods (Matthew 10:39). This is because truth is eternal, as opposed to falsehood, symbolizing the death condition.

Jesus committed Himself to a worldly conflict, aware of the price tag involved. Those feeling uncomfortable with conflicts can never be expected to represent the truth. They may have huge followers behind them, but the more multitudes agree with them, the more divorced from truth those people would be. If promising to be found in conflict, how possible can truthful information exist among conflicted conditions? Indeed, it can be difficult, if not impossible to separate truth when mixed with falsehoods.

The opponents would be giving their respective conflicted narratives. Justice, although administered by fallible humans, is expected to resolve worldly conflicts. One of the ancient wisdoms exhibited by King Solomon is recorded as showing how common sense applies to matters of justice. Some two women had approached the King, regarding a disputable matter. Aware of the datum based on common sense, King Solomon arrived at the determinant judgment.

The king said, “This one says, ‘My son is alive and your son is dead,’ while that one says, ‘No! Your son is dead and mine is alive.’” Then the king said, “Bring me a sword.” So they brought a sword for the king. He then gave an order: “Cut the living child in two and give half to one and half to the other.” The woman whose son was alive was deeply moved out of love for her son and said to the king, “Please, my lord, give her the living baby! Don’t kill him!” But the other said, “Neither I nor you shall have him. Cut him in two!” Then the king gave his rule: “Give the living baby to the first woman. Do not kill him; she is his mother.” When all Israel heard the verdict the king had given, they held the king in awe, because they saw that he had wisdom from God to administer justice (1 King 3:23-28).

The matter of justice is common sense, more than some people assume it to be craftiness in one’s ability to manipulate the laws of a country. A good judge uses common sense, before getting entangled in written statutory laws. King Solomon was not using theology in handling the dispute that could favour the criminal. Both women could have been lumped as untrustworthy, as the guilty are inseparable from the innocent. King Solomon’s suggestion exposed the culprit. He used the gimmick that was expected of a normal justice system.

Where the opposing forces collide there will always be an explosion. But the positive outweighs the negative which can never withstand the condition of a blasting furnace. This is how even gold separates from the contemptible rubbles, which get snuffed out from the furnace. This is why a truthful person can be identified by not becoming emotional but with a willingness to confront the truth. A swindler is dodgy and unwilling to confront tough questions.

Another indicator of a swindler is his use of emotion. Emotional characters cannot be truthful. In an evil society, corrupt justice officers cannot differentiate between the innocent and the guilty, as criminality also exists among justice officials. The peaceful status of a country does not imply fair distribution of justice. Neither does a quarrelsome country always suggest an unfair distribution of justice.

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Truthful practitioners of justice are found in a country that has earned the tag of rampant corruption. Whilst injustice suggests corruption among legal officers, the corrupt environment also propels the emergence of the best legal minds. In other words, the best legal minds emerge from a most corrupt environment. Had the two women not quarrelled, King Solomon’s wisdom could not be exposed.

This world’s most advanced civilizations are sustained by having experienced the worst iniquities before settling for their current status. Hence, goes the saying: “Confusion comes before order.” A country that goes for a longer period without conflict is in precarious danger, more than one experiencing conflict. This may not be easy to understand, but true.

A peaceful environment predicts the eruption of chaos. In short, the best legal performers in handling problematic conditions cannot come from peaceful environments. A professional athlete avoids using soft terrains in his training activities if entertaining the idea of winning a medal. He uses the roughest of all terrains available. Otherwise, the athlete cannot be expected to become a great champion without having trained in difficult conditions.

Famous athletes are famous because of hard training. David became famous within a short space of time, after having killed the giant, Goliath, but spent several years as a fugitive. The Old Testament Bible would be irrelevant without David’s story. But that story would also be meaningless without David’s adventurous experiences, before his ascension to the throne.

Truth is not found in traditionally peaceful environments, as exposed to troubled conditions. Under the predictably safe conditions, calamity strikes. This is what happened to the mighty Roman Empire, having survived longer than any other empire. Who would have imagined that in its condition of dominance, the Roman Empire would be disturbed by Barbarians?

The seekers of truth approach the most conflicted environments. Peaceful environments make life unnecessary. The purpose of life is to handle problems. Without problems, life is unnecessary. Covid 19 is now history, but that pandemic introduced dramatic changes in technological developments. Greater innovations currently prevailing were spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nuclear technology, while negatively assigned with stockpiles of toxic weapons of war, carries highly innovative ideas. The reality of this world is sustained by positive and negative forces, co-existing side by side. The dream of a utopian condition is fallacious. When peace prevails, the probability of calamity would be looming. However, when lawlessness prevails, the probability of joyous tranquillity is around the corner.

Life is meaningful, as long as there is hope for the future. Present time conditions are disturbed by the unsettling expectations of future troubles. Those appearing as living joyously are commonly haunted by unpredictable future conditions. Those hoping for the best are better than those haunted by the unpredictable future. Every human aims for peace, rather than war.

The antagonists aim at attaining peace while causing havoc. When attempting to suppress such uproars, conflicts become inflamed while assuming to sustain peace. The legendary question is whether peace can ever be achieved while participating in a war. With war conditions prevailing, peace can never be achievable.

A warmonger assumes to be dedicated to the tenets of peace and freedom. That character hopes that by killing culprits he would then become a conqueror to dominate forever. This becomes fallacious when considering that war is sustained by two forces opposed to each other. His hope would be sustained in the probability of defeating enemies, carrying similar motives. But his dominance cannot be sustained forever, serving to create problems for future generations.

Even though clearly on a collision course, the protagonists epitomize modern civilizations. The Ukrainian war is a scourge, having maimed thousands of precious lives. Millions are split between supporting either Russia or Ukraine, without reason. Such supporters are not different from supporters of Liverpool, or Manchester United football clubs. This may eventually lead to the calamities of WW3, with unspeakable billions perishing.

The conditions of sustaining such wars are in using force. It doesn’t matter which side one might be supporting. The casualties inflicted against one side are celebrated on the other and vice versa. The insanity can be observed everywhere and yet remains unstoppable. This describes the facets of living in a precarious world. There is no truth in that an immediate solution can be predictable. Insanity can never be conventional.

The advent of Jesus marked the establishment of order. All conflicts known to exist are triggered by the elements of good and evil. This is characterized by negative and positive electric currencies. The combination of positive and negative currencies produces an explosion, making it impossible to pin blame on either of the two sides.

How can the positive be saved from the calamity of the explosion? This brings us to the services of Jesus, whose teachings cannot be sellable to ordinary people. Jesus recommended a way of escape which ordinary people consider to be unreasonable in a conflicted world. Ordinary people can never understand why Jesus rebuked Peter for expressing solidarity with Jesus just before the eventful day of Jesus’ murder.

From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow him. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world,  yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul” (Matthew 16:21-24 NIV)

Peter was as ignorant as most people are ignorant of the paramount truth that all wars are sustained by retaliation. It does not matter whether one is considered to be on the negative or positive side. A participant in any conflict is classified similarly to the opponent. This datum remains unknown, even though Jesus laid it bare, approximately two thousand years ago.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well” (Matthew 5:38-40 NIV).

The above cannot apply to those living in this world. If anyone desires to be labelled a lunatic, one ought to suggest this to any of the protagonists in a war situation. This is one of Jesus’ statements that cannot be given significance, and yet being the truth of all ages. But, as if that is not enough; another enigmatic passage of Scripture also serving to expose those claiming to be Christians, carries the flag on that trajectory:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbour and hate your enemies.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:43-48 NIV).

Indeed, if there are any, in this world, applying the above Scripture, they may be infinitesimally considered insignificant. Here we are merely dealing with what is observably true, without having to be speculative in making assessments. There may be comfort in remaining in the belief that going to a Sunday service in a nicely built corner Church building, saves. But, candidly, that does not confirm aligning with the pragmatic teachings of Jesus, as highlighted above.

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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