The Magic word!
“…Oh! had I the ability, and could I reach the nation’s ear, I would, today, pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder…The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of our nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled, the hypocrisy of the authority must be exposed and its crimes must be proclaimed and denounced…” Fredrick Douglass, 5th July, 1852
The warfare against self is the greatest battle that can ever be fought by mankind. The yielding of self, surrendering to the will of others requires a struggle; but the good character and a moral fibre must always be displayed for all to perceive. Proverbs 28 verse 13 says: “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy…”
The conditions of obtaining God’s mercies are simple, just and reasonable. The Lord does not require people to do some grievous thing in order that they may be forgiven of sin. We need not make long and wearisome pilgrimages, or perform painful penances, to commend our souls to the God of heaven or to expiate our transgression; but he that confessenth and forsaketh his sin shall have mercy.
I believe that if we confess our faults to one another and ask for forgiveness things can be better and this world would be a better place to live in. We must always confess our transgressions to God, who can forgive them but our faults to one another.
Considerably, I think it’s a great wisdom to acknowledge our faults other than pushing culpability and fault to others for our failures. If we have offended our friends or neighbours we must quickly acknowledge wrongdoing, and it is the duty of those we wronged to forgive us.
Can we make peace with God if we can’t make peace with the people around us? I beg to differ.
Those who have not humbled their souls before God in acknowledging their guilt have not yet fulfilled the first condition of acceptance. If we have not experienced that repentance which is not to be repented of, and have not with true humiliation of soul and brokenness of spirit confessed our sins, abhorring our iniquity, we have never truly sought for the forgiveness of sin; and if we have never sought we have never found peace with God.
The only reason why we do not have remission of sins that are past is that we are not willing to humble our hearts and comply with the conditions of the word truth.
I explicitly believe that confession of guilt, whether public or private, should be heartfelt and freely expressed. It is not to be urged from the wrongdoer. It is not to be made in a flippant and careless way or forced from those who have no realising sense of abhorrent character of wrongdoing.
The confession that is outpouring of the inmost soul finds its way to the God of infinite pity as the Psalmist says: “The Lord is nigh unto them that are broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” Psalm 34: 18.
A confession or an apology is always of a specific character, and acknowledges particular ‘sins’. They may be of such nature as to be brought before God only; they may be wrongs that should be confessed to individuals who have suffered injury through them; or they may be of a public character, and should be the be as publicly confessed.
My take is that all apologies or confessions must be definite and to the point, acknowledging the very sins of which one is guilty.
In Malawi today, we are having so many problems, some academic, some democratic and some diplomatic, simply because president Mutharika and his government are refusing to confess and apologise that they did something wrong.
Is the Chancellor College feud not as a result of failing to accept that academic freedom was trampled upon? Are our diplomatic ties with our neighbours Zambia and Mozambique not a direct result of our leadership’s failure to accept wrongdoing?
How about our old-age cordial relationship with bilateral donors Britain and America ? If we had accepted wrongdoing and apologised outrightly and seek for forgiveness, would we still be crying a river to make amends to this date? I beg to differ.
My take is that if Mutharika had accepted that ‘things’ went wrong and apologised to the offended in time, surely a stitch would have saved nine.
What I fail to understand is why the Malawi government maintains in public when in private it does the opposite. Does that make sense? I beg to differ.
I strongly urge the Malawi government to get off from the high horses and publicly admit that they affronted Zambia’s President Michael Sata and British High Commission to Malawi Cochrane-Dyet and unreservedly apologises to them and their countries accordingly.
I see no sense why president Mutharika went to town on BBC maintaining that he did not chase Cochrane-Dyet when at the same time sending a three -man delegation to London to beg for mercy with her Majesty’s government.
I believe that a real human being genuinely apologises when he or she has done something wrong to someone.
We’ve seen great men and women apologising for their wrongdoing in history. American president Richard Nixon apologised to Americans over the Watergate scandal before relinquishing power. Recently, In the UK, Defence Minister Dr. Liam Fox apologised to the public for inappropriately asking donors to give cash to his friend, Adam Werritty to fund his foreign trips before resigning saying national interest must come before personal benefit. That is what we call humanity.
Newly appointed Zambian President, Michael Sata has also apologised to the Angolan government over the Zambia’s former ruling paring party MMD to side with the former Angolan rebel, Jonas Savimbi during Angola’s civil – that is humanity and serving national interest.
Would Sata and his government lose anything by humbling themselves in apologising to the Angolan government for Zambia’s wrong wrongdoing? I beg to differ.
Therefore, would Malawi lose anything if it ‘genuinely’ apologises to all the people and countries it has wronged? Will big-headedness take our country anywhere? I beg to differ.
Malawi like all countries now lives in a global village which means therefore that we depend on other countries’ cordial relationships for one reason or another.
Can we afford not to befriend with immediate neighbouring countries such as Mozambique and Zambia for any reason? I beg to differ.
Is President Mutharika doing all he is doing for national interest or personal pride? Search your hearts. Is President Mutharika serving Malawians’ interests through his heavy-handedness? I beg to to differ.
Do I think it is presidential for Mutharika to be bragging that he has eliminated hunger or aids instead of commending Malawians for their hard-work and efforts efforts? Whose farm has he gone to cultivate to substantiate his declarations?
Is it not disheartening therefore that even after Amnesty International and the international community pleaded with Malawi to arrest wanted Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and surrender him to the International Criminal Court (ICC) Malawi still accorded the fugitive a superlative treatment?
Will Malawians benefit anything tangible from Al-Bashir’s visit? Will Sudan be of much benefit to Malawians than Zambia and Mozambique? Does Malawi need close friendship with a man who has two international warrants for his arrest on charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes for his role in the Darfur conflict? I beg to differ.
Doesn’t Malawi have a legal obligation to provide bonafide justice for victims of crimes against humanity and other crimes under international law in Darfur? Do we need master refuter, Hetherwick Ntaba and ‘blabbermouthed’ Patricia Kaliati talking to defend lies? I beg to differ.
Will these two propagandists’ continued verbal diarrhoea save Malawi and her people from the political quagmire it is in? I beg to differ.
Malawi needs companionate truthsayers to harness its diplomatic relationships with all its nemesis, neighbouring countries, the international community, the faith community and the civil society – and that can only be possible by first accepting that the country has made some grave mistakes and the country is very sorry for its actions before pleading for exoneration.
As a country let us admit our wrongs and seek forgiveness from all those that we have wronged for “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness…” 1 John 1:9
At this point all we need is the magic word – SORRY – for without it we are but doomed.