The Building Bridges Initiative initiated by the government of Kenya was said to be the solution for the recurrent violence after every election, among other solutions. It was hailed by its proponent to create inclusivity in the formation of the government after the election and, hence, end violence during elections by addressing the winner-take-all norm of the elections. The opponents claim it was a sham and does not offer any solution to the Kenyan problem.
I hail our leaders in identifying and articulating our problems as Kenyans. But I am disappointed with the solutions they come up with. I keep wondering where the disconnect is between the same mind that identified our issues and provides solutions. As Kenyans, we may disagree in terms of the critical issues to be addressed, but unless addressed, we are not close to Canaan. We shall end up like the sons of Korah who were swallowed by the earth in the wilderness.
The real problem of Kenya is that we have leaders with full heads but empty hearts. Our leaders are all highly educated and full of knowledge. But knowledge devoid of character is fatal. One leadership coach speaks of character and capacity as the two major things needed for effective leadership. Kenya is not suffering from the deficiency of people with the capacity to lead, but the character is the sustainer of what capacity produces.
The disaster caused by lack of character is evident in our dwindling economy, high level of corruption in almost all government offices, loss of billions of shillings etc. Those in places of power have all machinery to know where every coin goes, who are the corrupt officers and trace all other criminals who undermine their leadership and steal from the pocket of Wanjiku. But since the real problem is unaddressed, no justice can be served. I would love to say that the Kenyan problem is not unique to Kenya but a global issue. It is not a problem unique to our days but has existed since the fall of Adam. Our Lord Jesus Christ, addressed the real issue and not changing the letter being used to rule.
The law and the heart problem
The Israelites struggled with the real problem of the heart. Though they had the law, they were still unable to observe its requirements to the fullest (Romans 2:17-29). Paul accuses the Jewish community of teaching others but cannot teach themselves, preaching against stealing but stealing, preaching against adultery but being perpetrators of the same. Those who knew what they were supposed to do and had the law with them still could not do what the law expected of them.
Paul in Romans 7:14 laments of his life under the law; he knew what the law required but always found himself doing evil. He felt helpless since the real problem was not in the law but inside himself. He says that the sin that dwells in him is the cause of all the evil he commits. Selfishness is a fruit of the sin that dwells within us. We want something, but we do not get it; James says that this lust of things leads to fighting and quarrelling, which later graduated to killing and covetousness (James 4:1-2). Is this not what we see in our nation? We have people killed while others are in pursuit of power, and when they don’t get what they want, they still end up causing unrest by instigating a community against the other.
The solution to our problem
If the law could not address the heart’s old age problem for a better society, how do we expect to change the constitution to address the heart problem, which is our major issue in Kenya? The changing of the constitution every few years will not change our character. Unless humanity goes back to the proposed solution offered over 2000 years ago, we will always be far from addressing our issues. Unless those who are in Jesus are in leadership and reflect the Christ-like lifestyle, we are far from changing this nation.
The law is fulfilled in everyone who has Christ in them (Romans 3:31). We are making a call that people need to go back to the Lord. We cannot trust people who keep changing the letter instead of changing their spirit and heart attitudes towards the law. Surely it is not the law that is wrong all the time. As long as we think our problems are outward, we are not close to dealing with them. The first key to solving the problem of sin is accepting our inability to deal with our heart issue. It is only then can we surrender to the creator of it for renewal. I agree with our politicians that we shall never have a perfect constitution since imperfect men write us the constitution. But in my addition, we can have a heart that strives for perfection and willing to effortlessly fulfill the law.
We are being called to come back to the Lord and render our hearts and not our garments. This is a call for us to come back to the Lord and abide by his word. The nature of our politicians is a reflection of how our community is. Their lives are a reflection of ours. As we point fingers, let us not forget that more fingers are pointing at us. We cannot solve problems at the same level they were created.