Two Liberian clergymen have emphasized forgiveness and gratitude as virtues that Christians need to adapt to in their daily living.
Rev. Dr. George W. Zorbah and Rt. Rev. John Kunkun in their separate statements on this year’s Thanksgiving Day in Monrovia, said for God’s intervention to come to Liberia, Liberians must learn to live by these virtues because God instructed His followers to show gratitude and forgiveness.
Rev/Dr. Zorbah, who serves as president of the National Grass Root Pastors Association, spoke first and stressed that many Liberians, though claiming to be Christians, find it difficult to forgive their compatriots.
Liberia’s unforgiving culture, he said, is leading some to call for the establishment of a war crime court in the country, which would only target certain people, leaving out many more.
According to him, the Liberia war was fought by all Liberians, directly or indirectly, stressing that those who did not take up arms to fight supported fighters to kill other Liberians.
Biblically backing his statement, Rev. Zorbah said Jesus Christ, to whom Christians pray, urged his followers to forgive 70 times seven times, which according to him, makes forgiveness to be infinite.
Regarding “justice,” he said the Christian bible stresses it to be acceptable to God. He said justice is also forgiveness because if one does wrong and seeks pardon from the victim, the victim needs to demonstrate forgiveness as Jesus prayed, “… forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
He said many Liberians were glad to see former Liberian President Charles Taylor incarcerated in the United Kingdom following his trial in The Hague, yet, they have made no changes in their own lives since Taylor was incarcerated.
He said the unforgiving spirit in Liberia is a curse that could serve as a driving force to the prevalence of catastrophe diseases including Ebola, noting, “Liberians claim to be Christians, but they are so wicked and envious. This is what sparks up God’s anger to punish people with plagues.”
For Rt. Rev. Kunkun of the City of Light Church of God, the need to show gratitude to people when they do good cannot be over emphasized.
Citing an encounter Jesus had with the ten lepers, Rev. Kunkun said that among them only one person returned to thank Jesus.
Comparing it with the attitudes of Liberians, he said they are good at complaining and seeking favor, but when favor is shown them, they quickly forget those who have met their needs.
“Liberians are good at seeking God’s intervention in times of crisis, but when the crisis is over, they draw far away from God and engage in things that will please their bodies. During the Ebola crisis, they were much close to God and promised to always serve Him, but as Ebola is gone now, churches are no longer packed as they used to be,” he said.
He said showing gratitude brings “wholeness,” adding that for wholeness to come “upon Liberia,” citizens must learn to appreciate what God has done for them before asking for future needs.
He also called on Liberians to show gratitude to people who show them favor, stressing that it serves as encouragement for them that are fond of well-doing.
Meanwhile, the National Thanksgiving service held at the Centennial Memorial Pavilion in Monrovia yesterday was specially organized to memorialize Ebola victims.
Clergymen and members of their congregations used this year’s Thanksgiving Day to express gratitude to God and pray for the government, neighboring countries and Ebola survivors.
Yesterday’s ceremony attracted government officials, among them Vice President and Mrs. Joseph N. Boakai, Senators Jewel Howard Taylor and Prince Johnson, Acting Foreign Minister Elias Shinoyin, a representative of the Muslim community and Christians from various denominations.