PEACE WANTED, JUSTICE NEEDED!
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Peace has been a most essential want of man in all ages of this world’s existence. The state of tranquility and nonviolence has been the desire of men since time immemorial. The realization of a peaceful state of being has been the pursuit of a great majority of the world’s citizens. From the family to the community, the marketplace, the corporate organizations, to the government, the desire for peace is just as strong. The realization of peace has been recognized as the most important factor to sustainable development, progress, prosperity, good health and longevity of human lives and their environment.
If peace were a criminal on a security most wanted list, there will no doubt be a huge reward given to whoever could present it or give information that will secure its arrest. The world is in a frantic search for peace and it seems the more elusive as time passes. It was for the sake of fostering peaceful existence between nations of the world that the United Nations Organization was founded, but seventy one years down the line that great aim is yet to be achieved. We should therefore ask ourselves the critical question why peace has become so hard to come by. It is a big question whose answer the world already knows but fails to employ.
Justice is the ideal of fairness and impartiality in human dealings and relationships. Justice allows everyone access to their rights and privileges without discrimination or bias. Justice ensures that resources are shared fairly across board. Justice spells out punishment for violations of the principles of fairness and ensures that everyone takes responsibility for their actions. An egalitarian society is made only by the practice of justice. Human conflicts arise when justice is denied or delayed, and therefore justice is required to achieve a peaceful state of being among individuals and bring about a peaceful society. Today’s world has a big problem of injustice. There is little or no fair play in human relationships and this in turn has led to strife, anger, wrath and a whole lot of chain reactions.
We live in a world where people are discriminated against and denied their rights and privileges based on their skin color, their race, their language, their religious beliefs, and so forth. Those discriminated against become frustrated and vent out their feelings through angry protests and violent actions. Hence, injustice is the greatest cause of the world’s troubles and lack of peace. It is therefore important to note that sustainable peace can only be achieved by the practice of justice. We are in a very serious need for justice, though we have spent all our time in a frantic search for peace instead of justice.
World peace will remain a mirage as long as the principles of justice are not followed. A nation can never achieve peace when equitable distribution and management of resources are not implemented. A family can have no peace when some members cannot have equal share of affection. Things only take shape and peace returns when we nib injustice in the bud. We should be interested in knowing why this world is full of injustice. The answer is simple and is to be found in the fact that the world has deviated from the plan of its creator. Men have since spurned the Creator and disregarded His order of justice. A just God made man in His own image (Genesis 1:26-28), and foreordained that man will exercise justice in all his deeds to his fellow men and all other creations. God’s intention for world peace is evident in the fact that He made man to dwell in the garden of Eden, a paradise of peace (Genesis 2:8).
However, Satan the enemy of God and man, came into the picture and deviously got man to go against God’s order. He introduced greed into man’s consciousness and taught him how to cheat and harm his fellow man. Hence, man engaged in sinful acts, going against justice, and this led to the loss of peace (Galatians 5:19-21). The consequences of sin caused man many troubles. Firstly, man lost peace with God having gone against His order of justice by engaging in sin. Secondly, man lost peace with himself, for he was no longer in harmony with his conscience. Thirdly, man lost peace with his fellow man and even with his environment. This indeed was the genesis of the world’s crisis. Sin is the cause of the world’s problems.
A just, but loving God sought to restore peace to mankind once again by instituting an act of spectacular justice to redeem man. Justice demands that a violator of its order must face the penalty of such violation and for this reason, all men were condemned to the fate of eternal death and damnation, eternal sorrow and pain, and a total absence of peace. God in His magnanimity, gave His only begotten son, Jesus Christ, to bear the judgment due to us and to restore peace to us again.
Thus, Jesus Christ, the Prince of peace, the Justice of God, is the solution the world needs. In Jesus Christ, we have peace with God, peace with ourselves, and peace with our fellow man. We can have a world where peace is no more a mirage but a reality if we all let the Prince of peace, Jesus Christ, to reign and lead us in the path of peace.
It is only when we have peace with God and submit to all His just orders that we can practice justice, holiness, and in turn achieve peace in our relationship with our fellow men. God’s just order requires that we do unto others what we want to be done to us (Matthew 7:12). We can no longer cheat nor harm others because we will treat them they way we want to be treated. If we would not like to be discriminated against by reason of our skin color or gender, we will therefore not discriminate against others. Imagine a world where everyone treats the other they way they would like to be treated, it certainly would be a peaceful world, and that is possible only as men yield their lives to the Prince of peace and are filled with the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Today’s world lacks peace because it has looked to every other thing except the Prince of peace who can give it peace. He has promised to give us peace if we look up to Him (John 14:27).
The standards of our justice must be based on God’s perfect standard of justice to secure us our earnest desire for peace. If we do not teach our children the moral standards based on God’s word and also show them practically how to live a just and peaceful life, we will be setting them up for a problematic future. Our security and legal system, which are very overstretched at this moment, will be greatly helped if every one understood and practiced justice.
There is therefore a greater need for advocacy to be carried out to educate on the standards of justice rather than the advocacy for peace which is common place. That advocacy must be God-centered to point people to the Creator’s perfect order. If we ensure we have a just world, we will achieve a peaceful world. Let us start by a personal practice of justice by doing unto others what we would want them to do to us. If we want to have peace, we need to have justice!
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