Many of us are aligned to one or more religious organisations. There is one reason why we do it – because we believe that’s where we will find peace, joy
11 Feb 2018 16:52

Many of us are aligned to one or more religious organisations.

There is one reason why we do it – because we believe that’s where we will find peace, joy and happiness in this life. We also believe that after this life, there is the next life where we will dwell forever.

And how we live in this life will determine the kind of life we will live after we die.

That’s the basic overview and it forms the spiritual basis of the way we practice our religion and the way we should live.

But in practice, we sometimes do not act in comformity with what we believe in.

When we distill all the good things that the respective religions espouse, we find that there is a universal message – a transcendent message of hope, happiness and joy.

If that is the case, why then do we appear at times to be engaged in activities that lead to pain and suffering.  We say we believe in the holy writs, but then we turn around and do the opposite of the values, principles and doctrines taught by them.

Generally, this explains why sometimes it is difficult to agree on simple issues.

Our biases, prejudicices and pride cloud the issues and complicate matters. They lead to complications and conflicts.

Sometimes we need to take a step back and dig deep into our conscience.

If we are honest with ourselves, we will admit that at times we are wrong.

We can only do this when we have a strong spiritual base or foundation. This is where churches come in to teach their flocks the correct doctrines using their holy scriptures.

No genuine church will teach its members to hate or despise others because their beliefs are different to theirs.

The God of  heaven and earth that we all pray to loves each and everyone of us because we are his spiritual children irrespective of our ethnicity, culture, religion or socio-economic status.

It’s our spiritual strength, drawn from our knowledge, understanding and personal testimony of the content of the Holy writs. In the case of the Christians, it’s the Holy Bible,

Ramayan for the Hindus and the Koran for Muslims.

We all agree that everything good comes from God. That should be the starting block.

That’s the standard we should apply. We should respect each other’s beliefs and opinions even if we do not agree with them.

This does not mean that we cannot express our own views. As long as what we say complies with the laws of this country, then it’s okay. Secondly, it should be based on issues, and not taken personally

If we apply the appropriate standards, then we should all be striving to do things that are in the public interest.

But sometimes we allow our narrow sectional interest to take precedence over the national interest.

One of the greatest challenges we face is striking the right balance between the spiritual and the physical or temporal.

Our spiritual strength keeps in check our physical desires and actions. It draws boundaries and tells us that we have overstepped the mark. It warns us that we are entering the danger zone of greed, selfishness and deceit and we should stay away from it.

Unfortunately, some of us get trapped and end up in court to face criminal charges.

Truth at the moment is getting a battering from the perpetrators of fake news and misinformation.

It’s happening because they seem to be  operating with impunity. But victims of fake news like the Fiji Sun are fighting back to bring to justice the alleged offenders.

But does it have to come to this? Of course not, if we are using the same standards. Free speech cannot be justified if it is based on lies that incite tension and hatred.

The holy scriptures say that the truth will set us free. If we use that as the benchmark, then we will do away with the garbage that is increasingly coming through with misinformation and fake news.

A businessman I met last week in a bank said he was exercising caution in his investment because of what people were talking about. He said it was causing anxiety and he would wait until after the election to decide on buying two trucks for his business.

This is the kind of negativity that we can do without.

And we can overcome it by using our collective spiritual resolve to focus on the positive that will benefit our people and our nation.


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