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Opinions of Sunday, 21 August 2016

Columnist: Jude Hama

Civil society organisations and national peace

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The socio-political scene in our country is vibrant and lively. But social engagement can also make one feel between the rock and the hard place.

On one hand, we have unique social networks embracing our varied ethnicities and gender differences. After all, every Ghanaian has the “imago deo” that is, “made in the image of God.”

Faith institutions are most suited for promoting harmony among people from different backgrounds. And a good amount of that is happening.

On the other hand, however, socio-political interactions and conversations have become murky. We now seem a society quite polarised.

We can literally feel clear political polarization in the air. It chokes breathing free social air and conversations and even trustful business discussions.

It impedes deep and genuine social interactions. It denies effective collaboration and partnership. I’m thinking and he is wondering, “is he politically red, gold, or green?” But should our ethnic identity or political affiliation hamper genuine collaboration, synergy or working together for the common good?

We shouldn’t conduct our socio-political engagements as if wisdom has fled into the Gulf of Guinea. But are people of faith in their day-to-day practical life and interactions declaring “we have the mind of Christ. He is our wisdom?”

Civil society institutions and think tanks have a contribution to make to national cohesion. They too have a unique contribution to make in promoting national peace before, during and after the December 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections.

Please pray for civil society organisations and think tanks. In Psalm 37, the Bible teaches that those who will live fulfilled lives in the land are marked by the following characteristics:

• They are people who trust in the Lord and do good (Psalm 37:3)

• They give up worry, anxiety and envy (Psalm 37:1 & 2)

• They take delight in the Lord. That is, they submit to God’s word as the standard of their thought and actions; and their goal is to please Christ everywhere and every time. In that path they enjoy God’s favour and care (Psalm 37:4)

• They have absolute confidence in Christ and totally depend on God for protection and provision (Psalm 37:39 & 40)

• They are those who are humble and affable (Psalm 37:11)

• They give up anger and rage. They do not easily lose their temper (Psalm 37:8 & 9)

• They practice patience in hope. They are “still in the presence of the Lord and wait patiently for Him to act” (Psalm 37:7)

• They are specially blessed and honoured by the Almighty God (Psalm 37:22 & 34)

Please pray for organisations like IEA, CDD, CODEO, etc., which operate in this country so they are marked by the above qualities.

They will be wise in their strategy formulations and contributions to national life. They will carry out their objectives humbly and be esteemed for pursuing truth and progress for the nation in clear integrity.

The Bible says genuine reverence for God is the beginning of wisdom. Pray that the executives and key players in these institutions will embrace wisdom and exhibit wisdom in all their work.

In this way, they will undoubtedly contribute to the development of national peace and unity.

The author is a Leadership Development and Cross-cultural Ministries Consultant, an International, conference speaker and formerly General Director / CEO of Scripture Union Ghana.

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