By Rev Ajiboye
- Family Hostility- The sad side of hostility is that it occurs in the family, either nuclear or extended. The first hostility was recorded between Cain and Abel; “Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him” Gen. 4:8. Likewise, it was recorded of Joseph’ brothers who hated him, and “then they said to one another, look this dreamer is coming. Come therefore, let us now kill him and cast him into some pit, and we shall say some wild beast has devoured him, we shall see what will become of his dreams” Gen. 37:19-20. Other family hostility are seen in the family of David and it was declared concerning his home “Now therefore, the sword shall never deport from your house, because you have despised me …” IISam.12:10. This hostility continues in the house of David championed by his son Absalom and it took divine intervention for David not to be forcefully removed by Absalom untimely. Family hostility is sometimes evident between husband and wife who had made marital vows “for better for worse” to each other in holy matrimony. In contemporary times we hear cases of husband killing wives and in many cases wives also murdered their husbands. A biblical example is Samson and Delilah, “when Delilah saw that he has told her all his heart, she sent and called for the lords of the philistines, saying come up once more for he has told me all his heart so the lords of the philistines came up to her and brought the money in their hand. Then she made him to sleep on her knees, and called for a man and had him shave off the seven locks of his head. Then she began to torment him and his strength left him” Jud. 16:18-19.Imagine a wife handing over her husband to the enemy. May God deliver us from a hostile wife/husband.
- Educational/Academic Hostility – This type of hostility is rampant in our educational institutions, where fellow students are hostile to others either based on seniority or other purposes. Likewise, teachers/lecturers can be hostile to their students who come to learn under them, this may come as revenge or for reasons best known to the tutor. I was in a class when all of us were introducing ourselves and one of the students introduced his town, while the lecture said “I hate people from that place” and we all asked him why? He said somebody offended him who came from that locality. In contemporary time we have seen how lecturers fail some students unnecessarily because of hostility. Teachers and lectures must treat students who come to learn under them with care, knowing that God owns destiny of those students who come to learn under them.
Recommending solutions to contemporary hostilities
The rate at which hostility is spreading in the recent time is alarming, all hands must be on deck to stop this menace, leaders at all levels in the society must rise in contributing their quota in putting an end to this imbroglio.
- Love – People must love others and be interested in the growth and development of fellow citizen. “And above all things have fervent love for one another, for love wil cover a multitude of sins” I Pet. 4:8. Love is a major weapon to overcome hostility in our society, Christians should love Muslims and Muslims should do the same for the Christians. Leaders must show love to the followers and followers must love themselves. Rift must be settled in love and we must always look for amicable resolutions of all rifts and discord.
- Tolerance – Tolerance is simply the ability or willingness to accommodate the existence of others opinions or behaviour that one dislike or disagrees with. The differences in others must be respected and we must build on our unity in diversity as a homogeneous society.
- Justice, equity and fairness – Justice is the moral principle determining just conduct, and administering what is just by the law. Equity is the quality of being impartial, and fairness is the state or condition of freedom from bias. In a society where there is no justice, hostility will thrive, and when there is no equity in distribution of the state’ resources, or in a situation where “baboon they work monkey the chop” hostility will become the order of the day. Everyone must be treated fairly, no one or tribe should be above the other, all animals must be considered equal and everyone must be entitled to positions in the Nigerian state.
- Forgiveness – The contemporary society members must rise to forgive one another, there must be a solemn assembly where everyone will confess their sins, and from there build a glorious and prosperous nation. “Consecrate a fast, call a sacred assembly; gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the Lord your God, and cry out to the Lord” Joel 1:4. This is simply a meeting or congregation of Nigerians, which must comprise everyone regardless of background or religion. This can be an inter faith assembly where people from divers culture gather to seek the face of God.
- Genuine salvation – Transformation of man’s soul transforms the total person into a holy person. Genuine salvation in Christ Jesus is the antidote to the menace of hostility in our society. Jesus told His listeners “most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God” Jn. 3:3.
Everyone must rise, the clerics, political class, academia and traders etc, to put an end to the rising hostility in our contemporary society. Everyone must play his/ her part in achieving a glorious and peaceful society.