Religious Musings

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It is noteworthy how the various religious books, the Koran and the Bible, included always make clear the differences between light and darkness, righteousness and wickedness, good and evil. A careful study of all the accounts of people in these books, their social status notwithstanding, their good or evil deeds were not covered up or described in fashionable words. It is also noteworthy that some of the virtues and good deeds are likened to righteousness. For instance, a righteous man would love to please God in all his dealings. He gains abundant wisdom through humility. He is delivered from troubles at all times when living and doing right and he affects his society with his life.

However the wicked are very different. They may be wealthy but their wealth does not save them. They perish with their hopes. The choice is often ours.

Some years ago in a part of Africa the manufacturers of 7Up made their bottles bigger than any other with the slogan: The Difference is Clear! Today the difference is no longer clear as other manufacturers of soda/soft drinks have come up with a equal and even bigger sizes of bottles. Is this the same with righteousness in our societies today?

There are calculated and deliberate efforts to muddle the clear differences between righteousness and wickedness. Modern day society can be likened to a society described by the prophet Isaiah in the Bible which called evil good and good evil. Many people dwell on sexual promiscuity as the most fashionable thing to do and a person is considered an outcast if you are not part of this sexual revolution. Today we package sin and evil deeds as human weaknesses and justify the wicked for deeds that should be condemned.

It is important in these last days to watch out for people who come to us with high sounding words. They may not be sincere in their actions and their kindest acts may end up in an experience that is cruel to the upright. God endowed us with the right to choose whatever we want to become and He hopes we choose to live right so that it may be well with us although we are tempted to do otherwise. The freewill to choose although is an advantage also doubles as a millstone around our necks. Every man is responsible for his own choices in this life.

‘To live is choosing’ they say and indeed life is characterized by the necessity to all to a person or adopt a certain attitude or undertake a certain action and not another. Constantly with every step in life, we are confronted with dilemmas. Should I turn to the left or should I leave or stay? Whatever the decision, we have to choose. Even when one says ‘I don’t have a choice’ or decides not to make any decision, it is still a choice. Besides, all choices entail happy or troublesome consequences, sometimes both. Finally to choose is also to limit ourselves and to give up on doing something.

The various religious books, like the Bible, outflows with stories about choices made by individuals or groups of people throughout the centuries. Not only are the stories related to our situation but these stories also reflect the consequences and effects of those choices on the particular individual or particular communities.

There are three major choices in life. Expressing our gratitude is a choice. Together with all creatures, we need to glorify our Creator. It takes nothing from us to say ‘Thank you God’ for providing our multiple needs in food, protection, medicine and clothes – the basic requirements for human existence. It’s actually a simple prayer.

Protection of the environment is a choice. There is an African proverb that says that ‘we have not inherited the land but that it has been given to us in trust by our children’. We need to choose to adopt an attitude towards the whole of creation. We need to take care of it and strive for the preservation of nature so that future generations would not be deprived.

Indifference or silence are not acceptable options today as more and more species are being threatened with extinction due to large scale pollution, soil erosion and climatic changes. We have to cultivate fields and gardens, and participate in the communal protection of the soil, air and waters. Also there is the need to support the policies and laws that recommend the protection of the environment and a better use of natural resources.

Maintaining the hope of salvation is a choice. Each engagement in preserving the entire creation receives its reason and strength from the hope of the final salvation of the whole creation, seriously damaged by man. Only God can provide that salvation and it is to Him we must turn for the strength and wisdom to be good stewards of the earth and its resources as carriers and witnesses of this living hope.

Let us strive to be righteous in the sight of God and in the sight of man no matter what religion we belong to whilst we protect our environment. The Earth is all we have so let’s protect it.

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*Culled from Daily Devotional Guide for Adults 2013

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