[notice]A monthly column by farmer, preacher and writer for Jesus, Angus Buchan[/notice]
Just the other day I was in a radio interview with RSG and the very kind lady asked me a question; how can we encourage reconciliation? What is the answer to reconciliation in our nation of South Africa?
Immediately I believe the Lord Jesus Christ gave me the answer. It is very simple — w just need to talk to each other, we need to be kind to one another and that is what ignites reconciliation.
It does not happen in the houses of parliament by signing a paper which declares that we shall be reconciled. It actually starts in the home, in the farmhouse between husband and wife, between father and son, between mother and daughter, and then spreads out onto the farm between the farmer and his workers, then it spreads out into the neighbourhood, into the district and then eventually into the nation, and ending up in parliament.
Reconciliation starts at grassroots level. We need to confess our sins to one another, but starting with God. 1 John 1:9 (NKJV) — If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
We need to talk to God. He reconciled us to Himself by sending us His only begotten Son, Jesus who became the reconciler between man and God.
If we do not talk to each other, then there is a perception that the black man does not like the white man, and the white man does not tolerate the black man. That is merely a perception.
A perception is not necessarily the truth. It is something that you perceive and think is the truth, but you don’t know it for a fact, because you don’t talk. (Most perceptions are untrue)
A good talk
If you sit down and have a good talk with your staff, with your fellowman, with your family, you will find that the problem is nothing less than a lie from the devil. The devil takes a seed of doubt, he sows it into our minds and then it starts to grow and it becomes a monster.
The only way we can deal with that accusation from the devil is to speak it out and to contact the person that you believe has got an attitude against you, and you will be pleasantly surprised to know that there is no problem. So much so that Jesus says if you take your gift to the altar and you know that your brother has something against you (not that you have something against him) go to your brother, resolve the problem first and then offer your gift at the altar.
There is no point in breaking your back, spending your life trying to make money, trying to enlarge your farming enterprise and you have nothing or no one to leave it to, because you just cannot get on with your son, your daughter, or your brother, or your nephew, or your neighbour. You might be a very successful farmer, but if you cannot reconcile yourself to your fellowman you are nothing but a failure.
I remember many years ago making this statement at a meeting where I was speaking with a lot of farmers in the Eastern Cape. I said to them, “If your wife is not your best friend, then you are a failure.” I was severely chastised afterwards by some men who thought I was talking to them personally and exposing them in front of the other farmers. I had never met any of those farmers in my life before.
Work on relationships
We need to work on our relationships. Getting back to the foundations. Matthew 6:33 (NKJV) — But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
Reconciliation begins when people talk to each other. You say “But people don’t listen.” Well keep talking, eventually they will listen. You say I cannot forgive that man for what he’s done to me, or to my family. Well, you have to because God forgave you. The Lord says how can you say that you love Him whom you haven’t seen, when you cannot love your brother who you can see — 1 John 4:20.
May the Lord Jesus Christ give us much grace and much strength to start with reconciliation in our beloved South Africa. Remember a nation that forgets God is doomed. The Lord Jesus says that we need to love each other and we had better do it.