Posted in God, way of the Lord

Anyone sitting on a tree?

(Luke 19:5-7) And when Jesus reached the place, He looked up and said to him, Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today. (6) So he hurried and came down, and he received and welcomed Him joyfully. (7) And when the people saw it, they all [a] muttered among themselves and indignantly complained, He has gone in to be the guest of and lodge with a man who is devoted to sin and preeminently a sinner.

 

While on earth, Jesus provoked the religious leaders and many die-hard loyal fanatics. His ideology caused then and still causing today chaos because many preferred a tailor-suit religion, which is good enough for them. Nonetheless, Jesus did not permit them to deter Him from his purpose. He continued to remain faithful to His calling and this He accomplished in the end. The day he reached out Zacchaeus, he created anew a stir.

Let us create a succinct scenario —

 

1st Person: This so-called Jesus is shameless

2nd Person: More than. I thought I was the only one thinking about that. How could he?

3rd Person: Are you both surprised? He’s been doing this for long. You see, yesterday, he was found discussing with a Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:7- 42). Today is Zacchaeus. Tomorrow might be to violate the Sabbath by healing a crippled woman (Luke 13:10-17).

1st Person: this is why we must get rid of him before he infects us all

3rd person: Absolutely! I agree.

 

Well…the good news is that Jesus is not ashamed of being identified with the poor, healing the sick, raising the dead, or eating and staying in the house of sinners. He is love and He shared His love with those people because He knew that it is by loving others sincerely that we can change them.

Today we regard the homosexuals with disdain. If need be and occasion permits, we are prepared to quote the scriptures from Genesis to Revelation to these people just to show them that God hates them because they are not heterosexual.

Who are we to adjudicate them? Who are we to run away from them? If Jesus had refused to come to save us, where would we have gotten the privilege to be born-again Christians? Until we put on the emblem of love and accept people the way they are, we are not going to preach the gospel of love. We must take into consideration the fact that grace of God is over our lives. He installs us here to be amazing blessings to other people, to love them as they are, and never to impose our religion on them.

Wait…did Jesus forced his way through? Did he recruit his disciples by force? Did he use all the miracles to manipulate people to follow Him?

The verse, “Be not equally yoke with unbelievers,” clearly implies that you do not have to join them in doing what they are doing and NOT avoiding them as if they are lepers. Yes, you can be their best friends, parents, colleagues, et cetera.

How would you feel if someone rejects you?

You do not have to tell someone that you are a Christian before him or her know that indeed you are. There is something absolutely wrong if people struggle in distinguishing between you and a genuine Christian. You will fully recognise them by their fruit indicates the exhibition of your character as a child of God (Matthew 7:16a).

We need to give kudos to Paul for openly rebuking Peter when the latter turned down dining with the Gentiles in front of the traveling Jews; “For up to the time that certain persons came from James, he ate his meals with the Gentile [converts]; but when the men [from Jerusalem] arrived, he withdrew and held himself aloof from the Gentiles and [ate] separately for fear of those of the circumcision [party] (Galatians 2:12).

What many of us knew Peter for is his talkative attributes, but there is more to him. Here we are shown Peter, the proud; Peter, the do-not-touch-my-immaculate-garment; Peter, the I-don’t-eat-with-sinners.

How many of us are like Peter? We are confident that we are perfect. We consider the best of us all the time while we prefer to think the worst of others. Probably, we are like this because we tend to be suffering from a misplaced priority. How could we have easily forgotten the Mark 12:31?

 

May God gives us the hearts to genuinely love like Him

 

In Jesus name, AMEN

 

 

 

Posted in faithfulness, God, people

Where do we draw the line?

Deuteronomy 29:29 (AMP) “The secret things belong unto the Lord our God, but the things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all of the words of this law. ”

Often people say, “Life is so complicated.” This statement is expressed depending on the situation or during conversation with other people.

When something happens, there is a sudden awareness of knowing what had not been known previously. Something has been revealed. It is also the case among friends and family, any secret being told is no longer a secret because the words have been said. Now everybody is conscious of something thanks to the new revelation.

If that once-upon-a-time secret is grave, it means the person exposing this should be ready to bear the consequences unless of course, this person has no bearing directly by it.

We all have secrets. By the virtue of being, we all prefer to preserve many things because we long earnestly to protect our dignity. Also we might have friends whom must have told us details of their lives simply because they trusted us so dearly knowing we would not give them up.

 

Meanwhile, it is imperative not to neglect the fact that humans will forever be humans. In other words, life becomes complicated indeed when people cannot be trusted with our secrets.

As we knew the possibility of being betrayed by our so-called friends, family members, or whosoever, is this not enough for us to grasp the truth of knowing where to draw the line? What can we tell out? What must we keep to ourselves? Are we obliged to share this with this person rather than with God?

To wit, let us choose instead to store up our secrets with God because He is the only faithful friend that will not give us away and won’t give us a broken heart.

 

 

Posted in Faith, God

Unless You Bless Me

 

“Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:4)

 

The Chambers Thesaurus defines perseverance as a “The fact, process, condition, or quality of persevering; constant or steadfast persistence in a course of action or in pursuit of an aim. ”

Steadfast persistence? In pursuit of an aim?

 

We all want something in our lives. Some of us wish to acquire property, education, job promotion, establish a family, get a new pet, go on that dream vacation and there are those who just want nothing but to be happy. Yes, …to be happy! Just obtaining one minute of happiness is sufficient for some people because probably throughout their lives they are being confronted with constant crisis ranging from health issues, financial disability or whatever.

I bet we must have heard the popular saying, no gain without pain. There is an enormous difference between wanting something and wanting something so badly. The question, which revolves around this is, what do you want?

 

There may be no ‘priority tag’ attach to just wanting a thing. Nonetheless, there will be a first-class ‘priority tag’ affix on something badly needed. As for the former, one might consider obtaining that thing another day or time by virtue of the level of importance placed over it. However, in the case of the latter, we tend to view it as a matter of life and death. We want this thing at all cost. Therefore, we are fully prepared to do whatever it takes to get it even if it will take years.

This is perseverance.

Throughout his growing up, Jacob built bad reputations for himself. He stole his older brother’s rights; he tricked his father into diverting Esau’s blessings upon him (Jacob) and fled for his life. He knew he was a bad guy, but it was possible he did not expect the dissembled, injurious treatment Laban melted at him. After all, Jacob was paying dearly for his past wrongdoings. It became too much for him that he decided to part ways with Laban as he took his wives, children and property to go far away. Jacob was sick and tired being maltreated. He felt he’d pay enough for what he did to Esau. He longed dearly to run from this bondage.

And in Genesis 32: 26, Jacob got the opportunity to alter his life forever when he wrestled with God and the reward he got was divinely a permanently changing his name. His identity was remoulded. His reputation wiped clean and his position reinstated when a reconciled with his brother. Israel could have stayed back with Laban and continue to suffer in silence.

 

Perseverance cannot tolerate procrastination. If we are steadfast, it means we will sit tight and not play around, which is what procrastination entails. Perseverance ignites the passion of authentically love doing what we are doing to get what we what. At least we love to obtain that thing and this is the reason why we persevere. We are unwilling to focus on the pain that emerges from it. We opt not to listen to what people say to dissuade us from moving forward with our projects.

 

Perseverance needs faith to blossom. Let us pause to ask: why am I toiling this hard? Does that means I believe God is going to do it? If our respective response is affirmative, then we are placed on the right track. However, if we are struggling with finding the appropriate answer, I would like to declare that there is a possibility that we might be toiling in vain. We can persevere for days, weeks, or years, but if we do not trust God and believe Him for a positive outcome, it is like pouring fresh water in a basket, which definitely will not hold any water.

 

I will leave us with an amazing story of Hannah, the mother of prophet Samuel. The initial opening sentence of Amplified Bible of 1 Samuel 1:1 says in bracket, “Hannah pours out her heart to God“. Despite Elkanah, her husband’s loving soothing words (1 Samuel 1:8), Hannah persisted and believed. She knew there is more to receiving praise from her man. She knew that that ‘more’ is having a biological child and not just listening to everyday consolation from Elkanah. Her perseverance plus faith in God opened the gate of heaven and poured out abundance blessings upon her. She became Prophet Samuel’s, and added to that, “God was most especially kind to Hannah. She had three more sons and two daughters! The boy Samuel stayed at the sanctuary and grew up with God.” (1 Samuel 2:21 MSG)

 

May God help us to trust Him more and more, and to never give up too quickly on our life’s journeys

In Jesus name, AMEN

 

Posted in Christianity, God

That red light means STOP

One lovely evening towards the end of March, I left the university after attending a PhD student’s presentation. I headed towards the Holloway tube station and while getting ready to cross the road, a man and his little daughter joined me. It was getting dark and the three of us appeared like loners because the truth is, there were no vehicles coming on both directions. But we chose to wait. Suddenly, the girl began to cross the road. In a rush, her father pulled her backward, scolding her in a harsh tone.

 

“That red light means stop”, he said, pointing at the traffic light.

“Children don’t know that, ‘ I said.

He looked at me smiling and as if he’d being struck too hard, he said, “Thank you very much`;

By this time the green light had shown and we bid one another goodbye.

 

How many of us have a tendency to take God for granted? The fact that He is compassionate makes us think He can overlook our repeated sins. It is true we are to forgive our enemies seventy-seven times, but it is not true that we are at liberty to keeping committing the same act of crime over and over again.

 

For instance, someone robs a shop. Then he confesses his sin, asks God for forgiveness and promises never to do it again. Later he goes back to rob another shop and return to repentance. A third time he does this, fourth, fifth, sixth and on and on. God is so merciful to continually pardon this repented burglar.

 

Nonetheless, there will come a time when God will not forgive this man because he has voluntarily abused the grace of God placed upon him.

King David committed adultery once. Just once and not twice. He knew that if he continues stealing poor men’s wives and assassinating these men, he would lose the throne and be reduced to the shepherd boy he used to be.

We cannot fool Jehovah. We cannot choose to take Him for granted and expect His grace to abound in our lives. In whatever wrongdoings, we engage in, let us not forget we have limits. We must stop immediately the Holy Spirit nudges us into seeing that we have reached the red light.

In Jesus name, AMEN.

 

Posted in Christianity, God, love

The Consequence of Reasoning

2 Corinthians 9:7 (AMP): Let each one [give] as he has made up his own mind and purposed in his heart, not reluctantly or sorrowfully or under compulsion, for God loves (He takes pleasure in, prizes above other things, and is unwilling to abandon or to do without) a cheerful (joyous, “prompt to do it”) giver [whose heart is in his giving].

 

I am a giver. I was born into a family of givers. Throughout my upbringing, I watched my mother distributing our food, clothes and money to people that we either knew or are complete strangers. My mother had even accommodated a missing girl for weeks before her family came for her! This was a girl who escaped from her kidnapper, fled and after hours of wandering ended up at our doorsteps. According to subsequent information, she was abducted for ritual killing. But God spared her life. We just woke up on a morning to discover this fatigue, unkempt adolescent sleeping in front of our main door. Mother did not leave the girl outside for fear of unforeseen reprisal. After weeks of extensive enquiries, our new girl was reunited with her family who was living about 800 hundred kilometres from us.

 

In France, the Roma community is experiencing what I coined, a continuum of stigmatisation, prejudice and segregation. Many of our citizens do not have to be told because frequently we witness these. When a careless tourist’s purse is missing, it is the Roma. Things need not necessarily go wrong before everyone accuses them. Many stare at Roma camping cars with disdain as if they are lepers. If all Roma people are considered outcast and evil, does that mean that there are no few hardworking Roma people? I believe in all communities in France, or globally that we have challenges handling some people. That one people commit a crime does not necessarily mean that his entire community is full of criminals.

Frequently I come across Roma beggars on the street, in busy places such as the Metros, attraction parks and in shopping centres. I love giving whatever the Spirit laid in my heart to give them. Some I’d bring food to while stuck in traffic hold ups. They only get to see my car approaching and wow, what a blessing to see that beautiful smile on their faces.

 

One day I was telling my mother that I stop giving my resources to the Roma beggars. I explained this is because there’s a nationally televised documentary exposing the trafficking among the Roma people, where some of the beggars are recruited in strategic places to beg while their traffickers hide in corners to watch.

‘That’s not your business’, mother said and continued, ‘yours is to give and DON’T stop giving to them or anyone in need of help’.

It strikes me so hard. I had lost doing what God instructs in Matthew 7:12 (AMP), “So then, whatever you desire that others would do to and for you, even so do also to and for them, for this is (sums up) the Law and the Prophets.”  Then I began to reason like the world. I thought the society is accurate simply because I’d focus on that documentary.

 

Our world is changing. We can wish for those days in the year 70s, 80s and 90s when ‘life was better, ’ but we must know that those days and years are gone. Today we are confronted with choices: to continue with God or to succumb to the dictate of this perverse world. We would not be energised to help anyone if we think of what this person has done to us, whether that beggar will use our money to buy marijuana instead of buying proper food with it, etc.

I don’t think there is anywhere in the Bible that God first looks at what the world is saying before He set out to bless us. That straightforward verse (Romans 12: 2 AMP), “Do not be conformed to this world…“, teaches us to distinguish ourselves in our attitudes on how we treat others.

The question is, “Must we wait for the world to tell us who we ought to bless with our income?” Often we criticise the millionaires among us. Some indicate that they are corrupted as a result of embezzlement or whatever. However, have we not noticed that the more we attack these wealthy people, the more they are still getting prosperous? Check out their secrets and we will see that these people are passionate givers. They give to the poor, to the sick in the hospital, for philanthropic purposes, to scientific research findings, to the handicaps, to the mental homes, etc.

Whether they are thieves are between them and God. Their sacrificial offers have blessed millions and still will bless millions of people to come. God will not forget these millionaires because they are adding values to the lives of others.

Reasoning wipes out the grace of God over our lives. Reasoning blinds us from seeing beyond why we must continuously maintain her giving habit. Reasoning collides with God’s faith at all times because it is not in conformity with God’s commandments. If David had allowed reasoning to overtake him, seriously, he would not have defeated Goliath. He would have only just fixed his eyes on his opponent’s gigantic height and tells himself that this is mission impossible. Rahab, the prostitute (Joshua 6:25) overcame reasoning by not looking at herself thinking she was such a flirt to provide a hideout for the men of Joshua. She gave her help to these men without requesting anything in return and that offer of sacrifice saved her and her family from utter destruction.

Giving brings us out of trouble waters and elevates us. The power of generosity is indescribable. We do not give without seeing results because Angels are with us all the time. Apart from our individual Guardian Angel, we have Angels with specific assignment to bless us. Whatever we do is not forgotten. They are recorded.

So if we knew this, why can’t we alter the way we live and render it worthwhile? That comes to the question of how do we give?

Do we know that the most blessed form of giving is the one you do in secret? How many millionaires have you heard spoke out publicly about who they give to and for what purposes? They do not have much time to boast of that.

Even most patients being blessed with this money have no idea where it comes from. The gifts you give in secret to a needy person have more flavour than those you give openly. This is not to imply that you don’t get blessed for giving on the street. God does not forget a single act if kindness. Notwithstanding, I implore us to cultivate the habit of secretly giving. We are not required to write our name on those presents when giving them out. We can donate to the orphanages, retired homes, psychiatrists, and children’s hospitals and handicapped homes with strict instruction to remain anonymous.

When doing this, do not forget to bless those gifts and thank God for giving us the opportunity to bless others with what He had blessed us. God adores a cheerful giver.

In Jesus name, AMEN.

Posted in Faith, God

The Breaker of Protocol (3)

FAITH

If I had not trusted Jehovah for that visa, I would not have gotten it that rapidly.

There is no requirement to obey someone if we do not trust that person. Lots of people do not believe God and His existence because they have no confidence in Him. Why wasting time hanging onto something that we do not value? What’s the point?

When coming to the Almighty, we must believe He is there and waiting to receive us. When we come to Him with 50% of our hearts fill with fear and uncertainty, literally we are showing Him that although we believe, we are not yet convinced of His incomparable grace.

Moses doubted God when he was first called. He could have run the divine errand without needing Aaron instead he capitalised on his stammering tongue. Gideon hesitated about warring with the Midianites that he put God to a series of tests regarding the fleece of wool, dew or no dew on the threshing floor. Jonah fled, foolishly thinking God is not Omnipresent. The Bible is richly full of men and women like those listed above, and what these people share is that they were tried, tested and won over to God. They realised that without profound dependence on God for everything, their lives would have been chaotic.

 

 

TIMING

Every time is God’s time BUT there is precise timing for everything. King Solomon says, “To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven”(Ecclesiastes 3:1 AMP). It occurred to me that those days, weeks and months that I’d wait to go to get this visa were predefined. God requested me to wait. And this I knew not as I just not ready for going there.

Patience is a powerful virtue. It saves a man from lots of headache and unforeseen catastrophic in any given occasion. We must take into account that every man’s destiny is different. Some people are designed to marry earlier in life than others. In fact, some do not need to enter into marriage unless they lack sexual self-control (1 Corinthians 7:9 AMP). If you are expected to marry at 60 years of age, then please WAIT! One day of happiness is preferable to ten years of consistent fighting in a marriage.

Many people are fleeing their unhappy marriages. Some are depressed with their choice of career, and others are chewing their fingers in regret for rushing into decisions. Lack of foresight leads most of the brothers and sisters to marry the wrong persons. Today, divorce rates are sky rocking like the Wall Street trade stocks. We are not far from hearing talks like, “I wish I had known of this”, “the whole thing was a mistake”, “what was I thinking?”, et cetera.

If only they’d wait and refused to listen to the dictate of the world. Patience equals to good timing while impatience leads to erroneous choices. It makes no difference how long it takes for us to have what we want. As long as we are firmly deeply rooted in God’s word, we will be scared and we will be endowed with His grace because the Hold Spirit will teach us to wait.

Whom must we obey, God or the society? Who created the society in the first place? Is it not God? So why should we be forced to live as unbelievers. The Bible states in the book of Mark 13:31 (AMP). “Heaven and earth will perish and pass away, but My words will not perish or pass away”. People are people and we cannot do anything about that. But we can change our attitude, tune our receptors away from the hearsays of the world and focus our attention on God who is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the One that was, and is and is to come.

Do not rush to get that job because everyone else is getting it. What if you get the money but not the contentment? When something, or someone is rightfully yours, God will move on your behalf by breaking the protocols for you.

 

In Jesus name, AMEN.

 

Posted in Faith, God

The Breaker of Protocol (2)

OBEDIENCE

 

God knows our abilities are limited. We are not required to count them all before Him because He already knows. He told Jeremiah in chapter 1:5 (AMP), “Before I formed in the womb I knew you {and} approved of you…”

In his book, There’s A Miracle In Your House, Pastor Tommy Barnett says “God can take our limited abilities and use them for great purposes”. We only have an obligation to obey. And this is at this level that the struggles come from. Obedience. How much of ourselves are we willing to handle over to God? If He says, Jump!, are we ready to jump without pausing to question Him? Esther was a perfect beauty but a fearful woman. Everything about her describes the natural prettiness without any blemish or needing any sophisticated cosmetics to conceal scars. She was genuinely young, pure and beautiful. Nonetheless, she lacks courage and that stopped her from confronting King Ahasuerus about the genocidal plan hanging over her people. What good is a marriage where a wife must first obtain a speech-visa before she can communicate with her husband? Thank God for Uncle Mordecai, otherwise Esther and her people would have been history. In her weaknesses, God used Mordecai to strengthen her.

Another terrific example is a story of the wall of Jericho. Joshua obeyed God. Imagine how hard it was like circling that huge wall in complete silence for six days. They dare not fart, cough or even clear their throats. Victory, to them, was meant for the take and they knew that unless they do as they were told, there is no way they can knock down that wall, which is their obstacle to happiness. By the time, they blew that trumpets on the seventh day God did not forget their acts of obedience. They fulfilled their quota. He completed His part. The deal was done.

 

That Monday, I set out simply to enquire. Nonetheless from the embassy I knew something was happening. God was directing me. My duty consists of listening to His direction. I would have gone back home after leaving the embassy after I’d notice it was past 3pm, but somehow I felt an urge to continue straight to the visa office. I obeyed. The reception there was fantastic. The security men are well prepared to provide the information I needed, but then they urgently rushed me in to see a young lady who after discussing with me informs me to come back the next day with all the required documents.

 

I was going away when suddenly she said. “I think you can apply immediately if you want. ”

It was a shock! I had with me my passport, two passport photographs (I always keep these in my hand purse) and my credit card but no documents. She gave me time to get a postal stamp down the street and when I returned we filled the electronic form. Two days after I picked up the visa! God broke the law for me! It’s been weeks but I can never forget. God is sufficient to overturn a case if only we understand and listen to His prompts. There is a way He will push us forward to do something and we must not miss out hearing Him. Most times we do not hear Him audibly but He uses signs, like rushing us to do it fast, or whatever manners.

 

 

Posted in Faith, God

The Breaker of Protocol (1)

“As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated (held in relative disregard in comparison with My feeling for Jacob)”. Romans 9:13

 

Read this story of Esau and Jacob (later renamed Israel), and one will never stop marvelling on God’s system of favouritism. In the normal, the elder remains the elder just like a married man is generally regarded as the breadwinner of his household though that’s changing now.

Why this preferential treatment that God gave to Jacob? Why would God choose David over his brother? Why does God love Joseph over the children of Israel? Why did God refer to Nebuchadnezzar as His beloved despite the man’s senseless behaviours? How many can we count?

 

The answer is simple. God is a Breaker of Protocol. In the Kingdom of God, there is an organization, a well-coordinated empire where orderliness is foremost. Each Messenger, Elder, Angel and Archangel have specific roles that cannot be disrupted. Unlike here on earth, everyone is busied up there without any time for nonsense.

The fact that we do not have the power to know God’s techniques at dealing with us, shows His supremacy over our existences. He created us; He owns us and He can do whatever he likes with us. By breaking protocols, this shows His Uncommon Favour that is not attributed to just about anyone but his own people. Be this that God is partial? Well…I would vote in favour. When the way of a man pleases God, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him (Proverbs 16:7).

However, for Him to violate protocols, to set us ahead of our foes, and endow us with torrents of uncommon favours, He demands from us to observe certain rules.

 

HUMILITY

That we are Christians does not mean that we are above anyone else. By His grace we are everything, but we must never forget we are living among other people of different faiths. As such, we are tantamount to live at all time by our Christ-like manners. We are not above the law. We are not meant to boss over our friends, our neighbours, our spouses, strangers as if they are nothing and we are something. God dislikes people that look down on other people. He will not take it kindly if we, His children, behave badly towards others. Pride in our achievement, our status, our religion, our education, et cetera is the root of utter destruction. Now coming to the King of kings and Lord of lords with complete humbleness, and treating others with baby like attitudes opens up limitless doors of opportunities and peace.

 

Since the beginning of 2014, I have been battling with obtaining a travelling visa to a country. It was easy to just go to the embassy and collect it, but I was weighing separate thoughts: to go or not to go, to travel there or not to. I knew I have to go because my closest family members are there and I have never seen them in years. Many would say one does not get to think twice before affirming that decision. Perhaps but in some cases, I believe we all have our reasons for dealing differently with circumstances surrounding us. It just got to a point that I gave up struggling with me and just turns it over to God. His time is best and when that moment comes, nothing is going to stop me.

Indeed that time came a month ago. On a weekend, I woke up with the determination to get to the embassy the following Monday simply to enquire about the visa procedure. I’d check their website without any concrete result. Monday arrived. I went straight to the embassy. At the door, there were people and some of them did not look contented with the information they got. When it became my turn, politely I approached and explained myself. None of us was authorised inside. I would have been rude looking at the way the man at the door blocked it with his huge body in such manner that posed too rigid.

By the time, I said goodbye, I had gotten more than I came for. Not only did he warmly redirect me to the company handling the visa process, he advised me on the procedures I never knew before.

 

Posted in God, Jesus Christ, love

No Love, No Peace

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7)

IMG 1333

   Compare our contemporary days to the 80s or 70s and we are faced with the reality that things have changed. Time has succeeded in outwitting us on all sides. Things are moving on. Today, we have radicalised ourselves by our thoughts, actions, and reactions to events in our lives. Each and every one of us want to progress, to have our ways and often times to be above the other person.

In this quest for self-development, we are not in a position to think about the welfare of others as the ‘self’ in us makes us to ignore the need of the second person in or out of our lives.

That spirit of self-centredness incurs in us just one love and that is — to love ONLY ourselves. If at all anyone wants to get in our approaches, to obstruct us from achieving our objectives, then we lash out through confrontations such as wars, assassination, backbiting, degrading the reputation of others, et cetera. We call our opponents (if at all they genuinely are) our enemies of development. In as much as our perception of them remains as such, we do not mind going an extra length to guarantee their downfall.

The problem is that throughout our endeavours to trash our ‘enemies’, we lose the peace of God. That spirit of anger, and the determination to execute our intention takes us far away from the presence of the Almighty. And since His peace is switched off in our hearts, our souls and spirit, likewise true love dwindles within us. We won’t be given the opportunity to love ourselves even though our priority initially is to satisfy our selfish ambition, and also we won’t be able to love anyone else aside from our ‘supposed enemies’.

Jesus Christ loved and forgave His enemies. Why then can’t we? If we are the perfect image of God and we sincerely yearn to follow in His footsteps, there should see no reason why we mustn’t love our enemies.

Many countries are currently at war today because of narcissistic objectives. Each side desires to overtake and rule the other. They do not realise that a loveless nation equals to a nation void of peace. Unity comes from love. We all cannot realise anything in life if we are satisfied with what we do. We cannot achieve peace in any conflict zones unless we first tackle the lack of love in our midst.

As individual, our authentic love of God and His commandment will gear us to extend love, compassion and forgiveness to others irrespective of whatever they have done to us, irrespective of whether we know these people inveigled in conflict zones, or not.

When was the last time that we pray for our Muslims brothers and sisters in Syria, Sudan, Ukraine, et cetera? When was the last time that we speak well of those we’ve been told are our bona fide enemies? Must we allow the force of our argument to prevail over forgiving those who wrong us?

Indeed, may the peace of God that surpasses all human reasoning and mechanism instil in us the pure love of unity, friendship and humility to see the others as also God’s beloved like ourselves.