HomeOpinion & AnalysisOvercoming jealousy, rivalry

Overcoming jealousy, rivalry

sundayword:BY PROSPER TINGINI

Jesus Christ’s teachings were mostly centred on the subject of the love for one another. People are born different, think and act differently. Diversity of views and fortunes is a constant feature in our daily lives. How humanity manages to overcome these differences is very crucial for the avoidance of petty jealousy and enmity. In Leviticus 19:18, the Lord our God spoke to mankind: “You shall not take vengeance or bear any grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbour as yourself; I am the Lord.” In verse 34, He proceeds to expand: “The stranger who lives among you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you (the children of Israel) were strangers in the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God”.
Whenever the Heavenly Father finishes his statements by the words, “I am the Lord your God,” He is in fact putting His signature to His pronouncements. His Son, Jesus Christ, vigorously preached on these teachings of the Father.

Wars of attrition have been fought across the planet to decimate each other just because people do not share the same views or are of different ideology.

Brother has fought brother just to outdo one another. People have fought to achieve superiority over the other. Suppression of any opposition is a common feature among mankind.

Let me give well known examples from the book, The Problem with Africa, written by an African author about some habits of his African brothers and sisters, which are of a common trait and a characteristic of all humanity. He writes: In a story, an African man was given the opportunity to ask for anything he wants.

The condition was that, whatever he gets, his brother would receive double. He thought about asking for a house; but he did not like the thought of his brother having two houses. So he thought about asking for a million dollars to go to his bank account; but again was unhappy with the thought of his brother having two million dollars in his account.

The man sat down and thought hard, “What can I have and still be better than my brother when he has double?” So he thought of having one of his eyes removed so that his brother could have two of his brother’s eyes gouged, thus rendering him totally blind. This sounds like a very unlikely story; however, this is the typical mentality that has set Africans backwards for ages and caused witchcraft to thrive in Africa. An African wants to be better than his brother at all costs.

The African man is only careful: To share his beer, not his books; to spread his diseases, and not the cure; to transfer his problems, and not the solution.

When an African man fails, he wishes his brother the same fate so that he won’t be the only one who has tasted the bitterness of failure. An African man is happy when evil besets his brother. When most African men succeed, they want to enslave their brothers; they try to make the class gap between them and their brothers widen daily.

An African man wants to outperform his brother in every area and most African men do not want to let their brothers have any chances of success because they want to be the only ones succeeding. When an African man gets to sit on a seat of authority, he wants to keep it to himself forever and refuses to give anyone else a chance to sit. In African schools, students who can afford textbooks do not always let others borrow their books because they want to stay top of the class or they don’t want to give another student the opportunity to perform better than them. When one independently discovers the way to success, an African man who refused to give directions would still do all he can to stand in the way of that success.

An African man is ready to spend money to intimidate his brother and make him look like nothing. An African will become better when we begin to share books to pass knowledge, not just our drinks; when we begin to let others also lead without our influence. When we begin to give the same quality of food and clothing to both our children and our maids. When we let our servants eat on the same table with us; when the boss lets his lower staff get paid before him.

Africa (and the whole world) can become progressive when we begin to look out for each other rather than stand in the way of one another. When we can sincerely say, “Let my brother get it too, if I can’t get it, let me help him get it…”

In simple language, all the above examples can be summed up in just three words — love one another. Let us work together as one, just like our two eyes that live separately but see together as one. Both eyes also cry together in times of grief. Although they live in different cavities, their behaviour and actions are always in harmony with each other, as if it’s one eye.

It is peace and harmony when we accept that our accomplishments, failures, destiny, reputations and virtually everything about our lives are dependant and God’s will. A lot also depends on the personal choices we make in our own lives and we should not always point our fingers at other people for our own failures, playing the blame game. Knowing God, serving Him and living according to His will and statutes is the pathway to His Kingdom and our prosperity as humanity. We shall be in oneness when we pray in good faith for those who hate us, without seeking their annihilation.

We shall begin to be in a state of loving one another when we start to think about the welfare of other people and not just ourselves. When we begin to judge less of others and to love more; only then will we live in a sphere of godliness. It is when we accept different perspectives of the views of others versus those of our own and co-exist with diversity, then also can we live in peace among ourselves.

Life is not a competition, therefore, let us stop always comparing ourselves with others and understand that we can’t always get what we want every time.

l Prosper Tingini is the Scribe of the Children of God Missionary Assembly — God’s Messengers. Contact details: 0771 260 195. Email address: ptingini@gmail.com

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