Opinion

OPINION: The Price Of Disobedience

Today young people break the law in order to take risks; some because they have little self-con­trol; and some because they have no support.
26 May 2021 10:24
OPINION: The Price Of Disobedience
Roko Tui Bau,Timoci Daniel.

Just over a year ago the pandemic ravaged nation after nation sparing none. As economies buckled, we the consumers have been caught up in panic-buying. Today, it is the companies who are desperately trying to stock up with the boot on the other foot.

Life is interesting. When we look at what is going on in the world it makes us think about what the future is going to be like. Subsequent to this, the real answers to this eternal ques­tion is in the Word of God. The 66 books allow us to look at the prophesies and the examples that are there for us to dig deeper into, to see what the future holds because He alone knows the fu­ture.

Only a few years ago the whole world witnessed the terrorist at­tacks on the Twin Towers, the shooting in the US schools, and more recently the attack on the Muslim Mosques in Christch­urch New Zealand.

All this resulted in the tragic loss of innocent lives and obvi­ously instills in the rest of us an uneasy feeling.

One thing that stands out here is the sheer ignorance and total disrespect for life because of re­belliousness, stubbornness and disobedience.

The whole world is rife with re­belliousness, stubbornness and disobedience where people don’t care anymore about being ethi­cal. The Word of God says in Ro­mans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eter­nal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”. Things do not just happen, we as humans have to make it happen rightly or wrongly.

Every action we take will have a reaction. We need to equip our­selves through the Word of God and gain as much knowledge and wisdom as we can so that the en­emy of our soul that is out to de­stroy us, cannot touch us.

Disobedience in Fiji

Notwithstanding this, I would like to draw your attention to the number of people in Fiji who have been charged for disobedi­ence of lawful order in particu­lar the breaking of curfew laws during this pandemic. Despite repeated reminders by the Per­manent Secretary for Health, Dr James Fong that we are in a war without mercy and total dis­regard for life, people are quite happy to still break the law de­spite the three million people all over the world who have fallen victims to this virus.

During an interview this week by the Acting Commissioner of Police, Rusiate Tudravu, he stated that for this month alone more than 700 people had been charged and he was quite alarmed with the numbers.

However, since March 19, 2020 when our first case was report­ed, over 7000 people have been charged with the majority re­lated to yaqona and alcohol con­sumption and social gathering. I understand that a good number of these offenders are youths which is a reflection of the lack of parental guidance in the home.

Penalties not harsh enough

It is obvious that the penal­ties handed down by the courts are fines which range from $200 to $600 which I believe are not harsh enough to deter the peo­ple from continuing to breach the curfew and social gathering laws.

Perhaps the courts should re­look at introducing penalties that are harsher and will make the people think twice about breaking the law.

It is a blatant disregard for the wellness and protection of oth­ers. They are oblivious to the fact that we are in an emergency where one must embrace the urgency of service and love for others.

The question that one should ask is what will deter people from continuing to breach these laws and why do they continue to break the law.

As it stands in an emergency situation like this, the last thing the Police should be doing is go­ing after the curfew breakers as it is a waste of resources that could be better spent on ensuring proper COVID protocols are in place. Will isolating them some­where or putting them in jail for a month make them learn?

On the other hand, the rule of law to the iTaukei is perceived as a foreign idea imported to un­dermine their way of life. They look at their indigenous rights as superior to and beyond the rule of law.

This is not looked upon in an in­tellectual manner but with a lot of passion and emotion. Such is the reality.

In hindsight if we look back at our lives perhaps one can say that we really have not been fully exposed to understand the reali­ties of a struggling life and we have never really been subjected to really harsh treatment like slavery hence our lackadaisical attitude towards life in general.

Had our ancestors been sub­jected to slavery then perhaps we would have appreciated what it means to be oppressed and thus be subservient to the rule of law. However one thing that stands out is, we are happy and content when our stomachs are full.

Today young people break the law in order to take risks; some because they have little self-con­trol; and some because they have no support.

Most young people learn from their mistakes and don’t contin­ue to commit crimes. Young peo­ple who do continue to commit crimes need help and guidance. We tend to think of breaking rules and laws as applications of creativity, or even necessary for success. But there is never good enough justification to disregard them.

Fall of Man

To this end I would like to cor­relate rebelliousness, stubborn­ness and disobedience to the fall of man and argue that it is the sin nature in man which leads him to behave in such a manner.

There were two important events that took place prior to the Fall of Man.

One of them was the creation of the universe. God created the world and all within it, and He called it good. The other event was when Satan rebelled against God in heaven and was banished.

Sin is the act of disobedience and rebellion against God. The introduction of sin into the world by Adam and Eve caused the earth and all its inhabitants to be under the curse of sin. Sin brought God’s judgment on man­kind, which has the punishment of eternal death.

However, God made a way by which humans could find pardon for sin.

While we are still paying the price today and still suffer under the curse that resulted as a con­sequence of the fall, we still have the hope of eternal salvation. We can experience the forgiveness of our sins by crying out to God and putting our faith in Jesus Christ as the one true source of our redemption.

Through our Lord Jesus, we are reconciled with God. When we are able to truly connect with the Lord Jesus Christ and en­gage in a personal relationship with Him through the leading of the Holy Spirit only then can we be freed from the bondage of disobedience, rebelliousness and stubbornness.

Only then can we be subservi­ent to the rule of law.

As we continue to be locked down in our respective contain­ment areas around the nation this is a perfect opportunity for all families to come together in unity and seek forgiveness from one another and pray and uplift our nation and all the front line workers irrespective of their po­sitions who have been away from their families and have sacri­ficed their lives to fight this war. Your battle is our battle, together we will overcome.

Let’s continue in our prayers

I again take this opportunity to plead with the chiefs of the 14 provinces and the three Con­federacies, ki Kubuna ki vei ira na Turaga Na Vunivalu na Tui Kaba, ki Burebasaga ki vei ira na Marama Na Roko Tui Dreketi, ki na Matanitu Qaqa na Tovata ki vei ira na Turaga na Tui Cakau and all believers in the wider body of Christ to continue in our prayers and fasting for the na­tion in such a time as this.

Let us also, in the True Spirit of Pentecost, continue to sup­port the Methodist Church in prayer, as they continue into their second month of fasting and praying, that we as believ­ers in Christ may worship Him in Spirit and in Truth and make our nation a God Fearing one.

  • Timoci Daniel was installed as Roko Tui Bau in October 2017 after his brother Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi passed away in Sept 2016.
    He hails from Bau, is married to Beulah Viti Lomani also from Bau, with two sons. Has an MBA from USP and a Diploma in Management from what used to be known as the Fiji National Training Council (FNTC). He was the chief executive officer at the Fiji Rugby Union from 2005 to 2009 and spent 20 years at Westpac Banking Corporation from 1981 to 2001.

 



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