I love watching movies. I’m those people who can re-watch a movie 5 times. About two weeks ago, I was watching the movie Troy. The movie recounts the legend of the Trojan War, as the fortress city is attacked by a Greek army led by Menelaus of Sparta and Agamemnon of Mycenae. The best scene in the movie has the old King Priam of Troy, who at night ventures into the enemy camp, surprising Achilles in his tent. Achilles had defeated Priam’s son Hector in combat before the walls of Troy, and dragged his body back to camp behind his chariot. Now Priam asks that the body be returned for proper preparation and burial. Their conversation goes like this:
Achilles: “If I let you walk out of here, if I let you take him, it doesn’t change anything. You are still my enemy in the morning”
Priam: “You are still my enemy tonight. But even enemies can show respect”
Even enemies can show respect. My last post, Blurred Lines, caused quite a stir. It seems to have rubbed some people the wrong way and they were not shy to let me know it. Even though I received comments from people who disagreed with me but did so respectfully, others went ahead to insult me for my opinion. There was a comment that was so awful that my husband deleted it before I even saw it.
This experience made me look back to that statement in Troy. Even enemies can show respect. Such a heavy phrase, that teaches tolerance; a virtue most of us rarely practice– even though we think we do – but in truth we prefer the virtue of ‘speaking our minds’ more. Often times our opinions differ with those of people around us. It is life. We will differ on stupid things other times on important things. We will differ with total strangers; we will differ with the closest people with us. The beauty of life lies in our differences. And tolerance is the way we handle those differences. Tolerance is harmony in our differences. Now since I am a Christian, I will mention a couple of items that touch on being a tolerant Christian.
Christianity vs. other religions – there are many religions in the world, each with various beliefs and forms of worship. As a Christian, we are called to evangelize to others so they can become Christians. We should do this in love. Let us not look down upon what other people believe with disdain and judgment. If a Muslim came to me to convince me to convert to Islam and went ahead to critique my Christian beliefs by saying mean things about my faith do you think I’d be interested? I’d start by being offended and they would automatically lose their chance of showing me the benefits of their beliefs.
Your denomination vs. all others – This could also come in terms of your church as opposed to other churches. Since time immemorial, we have disagreed with each other on this. Catholics, Baptists, Protestants etc. Wherever you go each denomination is convinced they are the ones doing it right. You have even heard of cults that claim they are the only ones doing the right thing; they are only ones who know God. The rest of you, I’m not sure what you’re doing 🙂
Music as a mode of worship – I grew up in the PCEA church where we stood still and sang hymns throughout the service. I attended missionary schools in my youth and because of that I’m a huge fan of hymns and slow music. Then I got married to a hip hop fan who listens to Lecrae, Trip Lee and locally, Juliani. And since marriage makes you one, I have slowly become a hip hop fan.
The other day I read Juliani’s interview in the newspaper and I figured out why he sings the way he does. He grew up in Dandora and joined a group called Ukoo Flani who did hip hop music. It is while there that he got saved. Now do we honestly expect Juliani to burst into a hymn? Of course not. Same goes for Lecrae; grew up in Texas, joined a gang, did drugs, got arrested then met with God. These two people continued to praise God in the best way they know how – hip hop. I have heard Christians hate on hip hop. I challenge you to listen to one of their songs. They are more scriptural than some of these hyped up songs in the media.
I look through social media and sometimes I’m terrified. Cyber bullying is so real. We cowardly hide behind our PC monitors, tablets and phones and insult people just for having an opinion. I get it; we will always have varied opinions about many things. Opinions we feel very strongly about. But how are we going to treat people who are a different mind? How will we express our opinions to them? Well, let’s learn from that movie today… Even enemies can show respect.
Author: Wanjiru Kihusa
I am Wanjiru Kihusa and I’m a writer and founder of Still A Mum – an organization that seeks to reduce maternal and newborn deaths in Africa. I am especially passionate about women and children.
I blog to share my thoughts and experiences hoping that in the process someone will learn from my life.