Opinion

RECONCILE GENUINELY

PRAYER and reconciliation are very important aspects in true Christian life, which can only be achieved if genuine forgiveness is at heart.
In everyday life, there is every likelihood of citizens offending each other as they interact more so for those in rivalry groups pursuing leadership in a given environment.
Opposing views and competition usually breed deep differences especially in political discourse which tends to be highly emotive.
The Zambian multi-party political set up has often been riddled with brazen controversy, which in many cases sparks violence in which people lose limbs and in worst scenarios some have been killed.
Almost all elections have been characterized by violence through the use of offensive weapons such as machetes, catapults, pangas, iron bars and hand-guns.
Last month, during the Lukashya parliamentary by-election in Kasama, properties were damaged while cadres were injured.
As a consequence, cadres from both the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) and United Party for National Development (UPND) got locked up and are still appearing before the courts of law.
Even during court appearances, cadres from opposing political parties get at each other’s throats, sadly, over petty issues.
It is for this and many other reasons that Zambians must pray and reconcile genuinely, especially that the country goes to the polls next year.
For Christians, the Holy Bible conceptualizes how true Patriarchs of the Word forgave each other and reconciled genuinely.
Esau and Jacob, who were the sons of Isaac and Rebekah, demonstrated true reconciliation after differing bitterly. They were twins.
Of the two, Esau was the first to be born with Jacob holding his heel. Throughout Genesis, Esau is shown as being supplanted by his younger brother.
Jacob stole his brother’s birthright and fled to go and live with his uncle Laban with whom he spent many years, marrying his two daughters and acquired so much wealth in the process.
He then returned to his parents’ homestead and was confronted with the ‘fearful’ truth of facing Esau whom he had swindled the life-long coveted birthright.
To cut the long story short, Esau forgave Jacob and the two reconciled.
Therefore, the National Day of Prayer, Fasting, Repentance and Reconciliation is a rare opportunity for the political nemeses to embrace true reconciliation and not just pass the day with routine speeches; they must pray and reconcile in truth and spirit.
This year’s theme: ’Zambia seeks God’s intervention for sustained national unity, peace and prosperity,’ is befitting and thus the citizens should hold out against cheap rivalry.
There are several Bible scriptures which citizens must read with a forgiving and open heart.
For instance, Apostle Paul, who himself received forgiveness from Jesus Christ has emphasized the importance of forgiveness and reconciliation.
In Colossians 3:13, Apostle Paul stated that: “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
Further, the Apostle in Ephesians 4:32 emphasised that: “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ God forgave you.”
Therefore, it is up to political leaders to demonstrate true reconciliation by coming together so that their cadres and followers could do the same.
For once, opposition and ruling party leaders must reconcile and stop toxic undertones!
Sadly, the UPND and its allies boycotted the national event and this certainly is far from reaching reconciliation. This hardly the spirit of reconciliation because those who refuse to congregate and pray with others are hardly likely to want to renconcile.
It is an opportunity missed!

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