Living like little kings and dictators

International | Christ has a different way. Excerpts from a speech by Yoweri Museveni, president of Uganda.

Issue: "Promise Keepers breakdown," March 21, 1998

I want to stress at least three significant precepts that Christ taught and modeled, which if practiced, will help Africa: forgiveness, humility, and love. Forgiveness. Jesus Christ is the only Person ever to come up with the idea of unconditional forgiveness, even of one's enemies. He went so far as to say, if you don't forgive, God won't forgive you. In countries where animosity and division go back for generations and even thousands of years, how can peace come to a person, a group of persons, or a nation if at some point we do not forgive and let God take the vengeance on our enemies-if that is what he decides to do? It has also been discovered that if we do not forgive, in the final analysis, it hurts us more to hate than it does those we hate. Therefore, I have come to the conclusion that the message of Christ on forgiveness is the only practical solution to healing a nation's wounds and bringing unity. Humility. This is one of the most important attributes necessary to become a good leader. When you observe leaders at all levels of society, throughout Africa and I suppose throughout the world, you find them being overcome by power, greed, and self-interest. Somehow, after they have attained the prominence and positions of trust, they forget the people, their poverty and need. They forget that they could become a great instrument to help their country, and instead they begin to live like little kings and dictators. Only with a humble spirit, one which recognizes that we who have been given opportunities greater than most are in fact servants of God and the people rather than masters, will we be able to help our countries move from Third World status and lead the people to a new day. As the Scripture says, God resists the proud and gives help to the humble. If you have time to pray for me, please pray that God will give me the strength, wisdom, and sense to be a humble servant. Love. It has been fascinating to me to discover that for centuries people who have been the most thoughtful, the most respected, and who have made the most lasting contributions to the human race have all agreed that the highest and greatest purpose for their lives has been to seek to love God with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength. These are people like Moses, the great lawgiver; Abraham, the man of faith and father of nations; William Wilberforce, the leader against the slave trade; Mother Teresa, and on and on. Jesus Christ said the sum of all the law and prophets is to love God and love one another. If love for God and one another were the rule and the prevailing attitude in our nations and communities, all problems would move gradually to resolution. Even when love is not the rule for most of the population and only exists among the few, great things happen that give hope and life in a world starved for love and caring.

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