Walking in the light of God

The consequences of walking in darkness are too grim, with conditions as unpredictable as the rocks under the ocean waters. The majority of the problems of humanity appear as unpredictable, suggesting the impossibility of preventing them. However, nothing is impossible as long as aware of being causative in one’s environment. I suppose aviation experts have since taken advantage of modern technology, to address the problems of unpredictable hazards in ocean waters. Life requires taking responsibility for what prevails.

In Zimbabwe, the Insurance industry took advantage of those desiring to plan for the unpredictable hard times during times of retirement. Let me use my case, as an example, applicable during my prime years of employment. I had maintained three insurance policies, assuming this would guarantee my future financial security. The first cover had been projected to provide for my retirement, as would supplement my traditional pension plan.

A separate cover was for my daughter’s secondary education. She was still a toddler at the time. I had envisaged that during her secondary education, I would have become too frail to cater for her secondary and tertiary education. The third cover had been to provide a lump sum that would keep me, at least, active, during retirement. I would be running some small business project with a steady income, before my physical demise. The dream had been to purchase a retirement homestead. I did not envisage being catered for by my children during my retirement period.

This could be considered a reasonably normal way of handling the challenges of life. This is possibly how most people plan for their lives in countries with stable economic environments. Anyone unable to plan for the future would be considered unwise. I assumed having been among the wise, considering the initiative to maintain such insurance provisions. Unfortunately, although appearing as noble this suggests introversion, which implies being self-centered.

When focusing on self, without considering the reality of things affecting others, one would be walking in darkness. I assumed to be smarter, when not involved in politics. What was taking place in the political arena was beyond my radar. The speed, at which the economic collapse occurred, was cyclonic. This was caused by fellow humans, conferred with the responsibility to run the economic affairs of the country.

All my life’s savings, including the traditional pension arrangement, got wiped out, without anywhere else to go to seek recourse. This was a development affecting the entirety of the Zimbabwean populace. Thousands of those of my age lost their lives, unable to cope with the prevailing realities, coupled with stressful conditions. Those of a younger generation managed to grab opportunities in the Diaspora.

Zimbabwe was reduced to economic rubbles, whilst those calling themselves, “Christians,” like me, assuming to be decent, were spectators. I had assumed to be a dedicated Christian, unaffected by politics, and yet being a victim to political decisions affecting my livingness. If the political developments were unpredictable, it was because I was unpredictable, as a citizen. The fundamental question was whether I was a true Christian or not. This is when considering how responsibility was spelt-out by Jesus, for adoption by Christians:

“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, so that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. 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 above passage reveals the significance of walking in the light, as opposed to walking in darkness. I had assumed being smarter than those taking comfort in politics, but driving the country into chaos. My hard-earned savings having been invested in insurance companies would do nothing to help my situation. It became extremely unreasonable to blame anyone else, concerning that stupidity, except myself.

Life is about taking responsibility. When unaware of what goes on in politics, one would be walking in darkness. I was irresponsible, having passively watched, while the ZANU PF government destroyed ordinary people’s livelihoods. The common treachery had been in assuming that Christians were not supposed to be involved in politics. This assumption was popular but did not provide workability.

The common viewpoint suggested that politics was too dirty for Christians. But I have not heard of anything smarter than politics. The real challenges of humanity are a result of dirty games in politics. The question is on how such dirty games in politics could be addressed, without the light of Jesus. When taking a cue from Jesus’ instruction, Christians ought to be the ones involved in politics, more than any other class of people.

Politics ought to be driven by the consideration of ordinary people’s plight in the environment. Christians are not expected to be criminals, but Christianity is more attractive to criminals than any other religion. The common treachery is in assuming that Christianity implies avoiding confrontations. Christians are, therefore, commonly regarded as obedient to governing authorities, regardless of how oppressive, such government authorities would be.

The net victims would be widows and orphans in their diverse conditions. This is where the likes of prophet Magaya characters come into the limelight. The existence of such religious criminals, highlights the existence of a narration that poverty implies not paying enough tithes. This is how the principle of tithing gets emphasized more than common sense.

Under those conditions, Christians are not allowed to question those said to be in authority. Those attempting to question such authorities would be considered rebels. The beneficiaries of such nebulous cartels include government leaders and traditional leaders. One becomes an accomplice, involuntarily, as long as failing to take responsibility, under such circumstances.

The law of cause and effect is among an array of laws of nature, governing this universe. Nothing can be done about spiritual laws, but a lot can be done to circumvent physical laws. For instance, a mountain cannot prevent a railway line project, where burrowing through the other side could be necessary. That is what innovative minds entail.

This is opposed to being apathetic, blaming others for the bad conditions in the environment. Imagine a driverless vehicle at high speed, without anyone taking responsibility. God cannot be blamed, when a driver would have decided to intoxicate himself, suspending his better judgment, while the rest of the passengers would apathetically watch.

This world requires taking responsibility for all activities on matters of livingness. Even when preparing food, care is necessary, otherwise, one gets scalded severely when carelessly handling hot cooking oil. Similarly, political governance brings miseries in people’s lives, when carelessly handled. Enlightened humanity ensures that proper governance is in place, ensuring justice for everyone.

It is highly unlikely that a perfect government can ever be achievable in this world. But the closest to a peaceful environment is achieved when God’s children exert influence. This is impossible where God’s children would be more concerned about their own welfare, rather than being altruistic in their viewpoints.

There ought to be some difference in areas where God’s children are present. God’s children cannot feel comfortable or settled in chaotic and lawless environments. They would be at the forefront of supporting what would be good rather than supporting what would be bad. Justice is the opposite of partisanship when handling issues of righteousness.

Lawlessness is a sign of Godlessness. But how can Godlessness prevail in a country where millions claim to be dedicated Christians? Lawlessness prevails, only where there is a Godless society. The question remains on how a Godless society could manifest in a country that claims to be Christian. Some People may be failing to understand a special reason for mocking the idea of quoting Scriptures in politics.

Those accustomed to violent politics find Scriptural quotations to be mockery, rather than edifying. Yet, Scriptural references are necessary towards peaceful objectives. Hence, the Book of Proverbs counsels: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: And the knowledge of the holy is understanding. For by me thy days shall be multiplied. And the years of thy life shall be increased” (Proverbs 9:10-12 KJV).

Such Scriptures cannot be music to unscrupulous politicians, but to those who understand God’s justice. The problem surfaces when those aware of God’s justice, prefer standing on the political terraces, due to fear and self-concern. This is where the misrepresentation of Christianity is commonly established.

The majority of people assume that Christianity means avoiding problems when the opposite is true. Jesus said those who seek to save their lives are the ones to lose their lives. The ones who lose their lives in the process of advancing God’s justice are the ones who would save their lives (Matthew 10:39). Cowards are not guaranteed with rewards, on the Judgment Day.

But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death” (Revelation 21:8 NIV).

Love cannot be found where there would be cowardice. This is why it is futile for anyone to call him/herself a Christian when being a coward at the same time. The significance of Christianity is in making a difference in a lawless environment. The more there would be courageous people, standing for justice, the more a peaceful environment would prevail.

This idea of assuming the possibility of wisdom in avoiding danger, thereby maintaining silence where injustice prevails, comes from the devil. This results from misquotations of Scriptures, especially the one in the Book of Romans. Being the only Scripture that has emasculated the effectiveness of Christianity. No other Scripture has been taken advantage of by criminals.

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 

“For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.

“This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honour, then honour” (Romans 13:1-7 NIV).

There is truth in that Christians are not called to be the opponents of an established authority. But there is no truth in that a rapist should also be regarded as an established authority. The only difference between a criminal and an established authority is the violation of constitutional provisions. The reason why Christianity is a risky business is in spotting the areas of those differences. The constitutional provision would be the one determining whether the government is established by God’s authority or being criminal.

There is no reason to label criminality with the term “authority.” In other words, there cannot be authority without order or governing principles. This does not even require much study, as it is self-evident. Good judgment, at any given time, seeks to save lives, more than destroying lives. There is no fairer judgment than considering the greatest good for the majority.

Any government that fails to consider the greatest good to the majority is criminal, as thriving on murderous activities. That implies walking in darkness, rather than walking in God’s light. Christians are the ones entrusted with the light of God. Who would they be serving, if putting that light under the bowel? As long as hidden, that light would not be serving anyone, including the person assumed to be carrying the same light.

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.

The Print copy is now available at Amazon.com for $13.99

Also available as an e-copy at Lulu.com  for $6.99