Shauna-Gaye Brown | Jamaica needs love
Most people will say they love when things are going good, but when trial comes, without hesitation, they react in anger. Sadly, this anger is usually held on to and escalated into rebelliousness which grows into bitterness, unforgiveness and hate.
Bitterness, unforgiveness and hate are driving forces behind the poor morals and values in the Jamaican society where, evidently, people lack love; because where love abides, there is no room for corruption in thoughts or deeds towards another. Where love abides, there is no room for a proud look that seeks to exalt self above another; and where love abides, there is thought of how one’s action will affect the other.
We are living in a society where bitterness, unforgiveness and hate are the main contributing factors to crime and violence. This has created a sense of hopelessness to many of our citizens, which has created fear in many communities. Fear has become almost a way of life for citizens who reside within troubled communities, because they know not what or who will be next.
Interestingly, in most cases these citizens know each other and would have shared common interest at some point. In some instances, they grew up together, played childhood games with each other; in other instances, they may have slept in the same bed at some point and would have cooked together or shared meals with each other. But, unfortunately, somewhere along the way bitterness, unforgiveness and hate stepped in, and have stirred up the spirit of anger.
People are angry because they feel they have been betrayed or denied of what they perceive should have been theirs. Some are angry because they have low self-esteem and they somehow believe they are not being given the ratings they deserve; while others are angry simply because they are bad-minded, greedy and had unfriendly intentions from the beginning.
Nevertheless, as it is often said, those who know better should do better, knowing that the expression of love is the conquering weapon of bitterness, unforgiveness and hate. At no time should we allow happenings around us to make us feel compelled to scatter seeds of hate towards others, which strengthen discord and cause confusion in the land.
Always remember, it is righteousness (doing the right thing) that exalts (builds) a nation and sin (wrongdoing) is a reproach (offence) unto any people. It is important to note, there is no middle ground or compromise in standards of behaviour. Love and hate can never be friends, and it is love that is missing in the everyday living of the Jamaican people.
In spite of that, I beseech those of us who are practitioners of righteousness to continually reward evil with good by expressing love to those who have become practitioners of harbouring bitterness, unforgiveness and hate. This at times is not easy to do; however, if we make the effort and not react based on feelings, while acting instead based on the principle of righteousness, we would have played our part as good citizens in expressing the seed of love.
LOVE HAS NO CONDITIONS
Love is more than pleasant words to our ears and love is more than an expression of one’s feelings. Love has no conditions, in other words, you love in spite of and not because of. 1 Corinthians 13 vs 4-7 (Amplified Version) defines love by saying:
“Love endures with patience and serenity, love is kind and thoughtful, and is not jealous or envious; love does not brag and is not proud or arrogant. It is not rude; it is not self-seeking, it is not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered]; it does not take into account a wrong endured. It does not rejoice at injustice, but rejoices with the truth [when right and truth prevail]. Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening].”
Love requires pureness of heart, forgiveness and doing unto others what you would want to be done unto you. Therefore, we should not love because of personal gains or benefits we are able to get from individuals. Instead, we should love because by principle it is the right thing to do and it is by showing love that peace and harmony will be achieved. With singleness of heart, we should not esteem ourselves above another. When we make humility our way of life, the spirit of pride or a proud look will have no place in our space. When we see a reflection of ourselves in those we interact with in one way or another, we will rest in the comfort that we are one people under God and show love.
Let us seek to fellowship in love with humility with all men. Let us be kind and gentle towards one another. Let us be mindful of how we speak to others, what we say about others and how we do what we do to others. Let us dismiss the spirit of pride, envy, covetousness and a proud look from among us. Let us not attach ourselves to others because of the benefits we stand to gain. Rather let us look beyond what we see and try to know and appreciate each other heart to heart.
The heart will reveal the character of any man; and the heart is where the real beauty is and not by merely outward appearance. We deny ourselves so many times from the riches of the heart, because we are being led by the pleasantries of the eyes.
My fellow Jamaicans, let us love one another from the heart. Let us lay aside bitterness, unforgiveness and hate from among us and stand together in love. Let us forgive one another of whatever injustice or offence has been committed against us and pursue peace. When we have peace in our heart we will not be troubled and there will be no room for bitterness, unforgiveness and hate towards others. Let us unite in love for a better Jamaica.
Unity is strength and a kingdom divided cannot stand. Let everyone examine themselves and make a change for the better. It is love that is needed to make Jamaica a better country. But we must be willing to forgive those who have offended us. Loving our neighbour as ourselves must become a priority so that we can have a peaceful country where bitterness, unforgiveness and hate cannot abide. Jamaica needs love.
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