Tag: forgiveness

We are not bitter: We fully understand the dangerous consequences of bitterness

We are not bitter: We fully understand the dangerous consequences of bitterness Featured

We can’t afford to be bitter because we fully understand the dangerous consequences of bitterness. Bitterness is tantamount to self-destruction. And because of this we fear bitterness and run away from it. Nothing we say or do is propelled or fueled by bitterness.

The book of Hebrews warns us about allowing bitterness to take root. “See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no ‘root of bitterness’ springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled.” (Hebrews 12:15)

We can be bitter while claiming, “I’m not bitter! How could you say that?” We can tell ourselves we have forgiven someone while still allowing resentment to fester and build. Allowing bitterness to remain in your life will plunge you further and further away from the liberty and freedom of Christ. It will harden, break, and destroy the good in your life. Bitterness erodes optimism, shatters joy, and kills our ability to love others well. A bitter person goes through life with a heart that does not fully function. They live in a land of spiritual poverty while those around them drown.

It’s not good to be bitter. No one has to be bitter! Jesus Christ offers the power to stop bitterness before it starts and heal wounded hearts no matter how great the offence. Forgiveness is the key. Part of Jesus’s coming into the world was to “destroy the works of the devil”, (see 1 John 3:8b). Bitterness is a work of our flesh that the devil loves to exploit. Jesus came so that we could be truly free.

And bitterness has very serious physical consequences. It adversely alters the chemical balance in our bodies; ulcerative colitis, toxic goiters, and high blood pressure, are only a few of the scores of diseases caused by bitterness. Our resentments call forth certain hormones from the pituitary, adrenal, thyroid, and other glands. Excesses of these hormones can cause diseases in any part of the body.

Bitterness can also adversely affect our facial features. Refusing to forgive, results in physical fatigue and loss of sleep. We may try to hide our resentments, but soon they will also be etched into our eyes and facial muscles as permanent reflections of our inward feelings.

Bitterness is known to affect bone health; the life of the flesh is in the blood, (Leviticus 17:11). But the “factory” for the blood is the marrow of our bones. The health of our bones, therefore, determines the health of our body. Bitterness has a direct and devastating effect upon our bones. (Psalm 32:3; Proverbs 15:30; Proverbs 17:22; Proverbs 14:30; Proverbs 12:4; Ezekiel 32:27)

An inability to love God is the immediate result of hating another person. “If a man says, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, that he who loveth God love his brother also.” (I John 4:20, 21)

Doubts regarding our relationship with God commonly accompany bitterness. This is quite natural since most of us have prayed the Lord’s Prayer in which we pray, “And forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors.” (Matthew 6:12)

Hence, if we refuse to forgive other people, we are actually asking God not to forgive us. The significance of this point is emphasised by Jesus Christ, “For if you will forgive men their offences, your heavenly Father will forgive you also your offences. But if you will not forgive men, neither will your Father forgive you your offences.” (Matthew 6:14, 15)

Major hindrances to the spiritual development of others may result when we refuse to forgive, especially if we claim to be in a right fellowship with God. Our attitudes of bitterness will repel them from whatever it is that we are trying to convince them of. If we are to allow Christ to live in us we must allow Him to forgive through us.

And depression is one of the most significant consequences of refusing to forgive the people who wrong us. It requires a lot of emotional energy to maintain a grudge. Just as we become weary when our physical energy is exhausted, so we become depressed when our emotional energy is exhausted.

Bitterness and resentment create an “emotional focus” toward the person who offended us. This focus is the chief cause of becoming just like the one we resent. The more we focus on his or her actions toward us, the more we resemble the basic attitudes that prompted their actions.

The moment you start hating someone, you become his or her slave. You can’t enjoy your work any more because he or she controls your thoughts. Your resentments produce too many stress hormones in your body, and you become fatigued after only a few hours of work. The work you formerly enjoyed is now drudgery. You can’t escape his or her tyrannical grasp on your mind. It is for this reason that Solomon wrote, “It is better to be invited to herbs with love, than to a fatted calf with hatred.” (Proverbs 15:17)

Bitterness is all too easily passed on from one generation to another, thus affecting hundreds of descendants. The sins of the parents are visited to the third and fourth generations of those who hold hatred in their heart. (Deuteronomy 5:9)

Fred M’membe

President of the Socialist Party

Untrustworthy politicians

Untrustworthy politicians Featured

It’s increasingly becoming difficult to trust and believe any word coming out of a Zambian politician’s mouth. Lies, hypocrisy, saying things they don’t mean seems to be the political culture of our politicians. Today they criticise, repudiate, denounce or insult this and that, tomorrow they are in bed with the same this or that.

Today they resign or are expelled from this or that political party and start their own or join another and start insulting, denouncing, accusing their former colleagues of all sorts of crimes and evils. A few months later they are apologising, seeking forgiveness and reconciliation. They are taken back, but we don’t know if they are really forgiven and they start denouncing, insulting those who a few months ago had welcomed them when they were in political limbo.

It’s sickening. It’s making politics unattractive and seeming to be for scoundrels, liars, crooks, hypocrites. How can one work with such politicians, enter into alliances or pacts with them? This is certainly not a recipe for winning people’s trust. The credibility of our politicians is in continuous decline. Credibility is very difficult to find in our politicians today. But credibility is supposed to be the cornerstone of our people’s political life and of our multiparty political dispensation.

But do we still even know what credibility means? Who is credible and why? What are the roots and forms of political credibility? How does it circulate within society? What risks is it subject to and what pathologies do they derive from? What can be called upon to restore credibility to our politics?

We need clear, concise and compendious answers to these questions. We need to find credible ways to overcome the current crisis of credibility, which some even consider irreversible. At the basis of all this is the problem of accelerating the process of circulation of political crooks, of the real consumption of leadership, which leads us to ask: what is credibility really? And what does it mean to be credible?

I will pull the string a little bit and go back a little bit to Aristotle’s Rhetoric, in which he claims that we believe more easily in honest people, adding that this is even more so regarding questions that do not involve certainty, but doubt – recall how, both for the Philosopher and in the common feeling, credibility appears as a personal quality. In reality one is not credible in general and in the abstract, but for someone. It can be a few people or millions of people, but always someone and not in the abstract. Credibility is therefore a relationship, a risky bet, which leads us to ask ourselves what is credible and what are the characteristics and virtues that are preferably associated with a political entity perceived as credible.

There’s a difference between credibility of the role and credibility in the role; someone is believed because he knows and for what he knows. This is typically the credibility of the expert, that is one who has a well-founded knowledge of the facts and problems, which means that he can speak with good reason or with knowledge of the facts.

In politics it is crucial both to know how to and to be able to act. It is even more more necessary to know how to communicate well the decisions taken.In this necessary fiduciary relationship between those who claim to be credible and those who are considered as such, in which personal values can be summarised in the concepts of ‘virtue’ or ‘integrity’ and include honesty, seriousness, self-control, ability to assume responsibility and to respect commitments, politics must be understood as a service.

To govern means to serve, because “In the house of the just”, as St. Augustine observes, “those who command are at the service of those who seem the commanded. Indeed, it is not out of passion for domination that they command, but out of desire to give oneself; not out of pride in being leaders, but out of concern to provide for everyone.

“Credibility therefore no longer concerns only political competence or discursive ability, but the totality of the personal characteristics of the politician, in creating an affective/emotional relationship between leaders and citizens: why should I vote for him? The old Hegelian principle, which says that nobody is a great man for his waiter, returns, so that political leaders, accepting and often seeking the challenge of politics, must be aware of being at the mercy of millions of waiters, the electors.

Political credibility is possible but in a community of shared values, standards and common aims. Political credibility is not just an analysis of credibility in politics. After almost three decades of personal political parties and those formed around a leader, there has been a break-up and rapid consumption of intermittent leadership, which may last only one morning. These are leaderships gained, more and more frequently, on social networks, with an eternal return to oscillating and cyclical dynamics. In the age of permanent election campaigns, that format is intertwined with the processes of personalisation – for which the strong man is also a brand – and of mediatisation.

Mutual recognition assumes a fundamental importance where it is seen as the ability to guide and govern others by assuming all the responsibilities and risks that this entails, while encouraging and promoting real processes of listening, participation and active involvement of citizens at all the levels and in all phases of democratic political life.

Fred M’membe

Let’s all forgive Fr Lupupa

Let’s all forgive Fr Lupupa Featured

As a candidate in this year’s presidential elections and leader of a political party that is taking part in this year’s elections at all levels, I was very offended by Fr Latone Lupupa’s homily urging rigging if the Patriotic Front is seen to be losing.
I was also very disappointed with his homily as a Catholic.
But our priest has apologised. He regrets what he said and he has asked for forgiveness, mercy.
What more should we expect or ask from him? To hang himself!
I know very well that accepting an apology can be tough, especially if the person apologising really hurt you.
Like apologising, responding to an ‘I’m sorry’ takes maturity.
It takes maturity and humility to own up to your mistakes and apologise. It also takes maturity and humility to accept an apology after you’ve been wronged.
Accepting an apology and forgiving someone often doesn’t come easily, but still this can be handled with sincerity, mindfulness and grace.
Put simply, apologising requires effort, and if someone seems apathetic, we probably want to take note and try to get it behind us. We shouldn’t let it fester. There are so many things we’ve all done in our lives that we just pray people don’t hold over us. Let’s give our friends breaks when we can.
We shouldn’t continue to dwell on it, because if it’s eating us up, it’s toxic. Moving on is an important part of self-care. It’s not being selfish. It’s about living our best life, which can’t happen when we’re filled with anger or hate. It doesn’t mean we have to be friends again, but we can accept the effort and go on with our lives.
I wholeheartedly accept Fr Lupupa’s apology and forgive him.
Moreover, as Christians we know we are meant to be kind, loving, humble, and respectful to others. And one true test of this is how we handle situations when we believe we’ve been wronged.
We are reminded in
Proverbs 26:4-5, “Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him. Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes.”

Fred M’membe
President of the Socialist Party