Opinion

Divide and rule just conquers everyone

By Riverine Herald

RECENTLY I was privileged to attend the inaugural ‘Big Freeze Echuca-Moama’ to raise funds to fight MND.

MND is an insidious disease that attacks the body’s nervous system from inside causing people to gradually lose control of their bodies.

What was so fantastic about this event was the way that so many people from across the community came together to support such a great cause.

Many, like me, were there because they have seen a friend or relative succumb to the disease, while many others simply wanted to stand with those who had suffered to show their support.

This was a wonderful example of how facing a shared adversity can bring people together.

But it also highlighted to me how hollow the ‘divide and conquer’ mentality that plagues our current political climate is.

Instead of seeking to bring people together to combat genuine issues, too often our politicians are guilty of selling fear in order to divide people into camps of ‘us’ against ‘them’.

Whether it’s ‘rich v poor’, ‘country v city’, ‘workers v business owners’, ‘locals v immigrants’ we are constantly made to feel like ‘they’ are the threat that we need to unite against, instead of acknowledging that ‘we’ are all in it together.

But as I read through the ancient text of the Bible, I realise these issues of identity that divide people aren’t a new problem.

People have been dividing over culture, class, race or religion for thousands of years.

So what’s the answer?

How can we overcome our fear of ‘them’ and work together for the good of everyone?

The Bible shows us that it starts by recognising our greatest threat isn’t from other people, but actually it’s from what is inside us.

It’s our own selfishness, greed and anger that is the biggest threat to not only our own happiness, but also the lives of people around us.

Selfishness is also an insidious disease that paralyses our relationships with others from the inside.

And because it’s an ‘inside job’ it’s harder to deal with.

But we don’t have to fight it alone.

In the greatest act of selflessness, Jesus Christ took the power of our selfishness, greed and anger upon himself by willingly dying for us on a cross.

But in an incredible twist, he rose from the dead, and now offers us the chance to stand together with him to face our common enemy.

And the vision of what that looks like is amazing.

In the community of those who come before the cross of Jesus we are all equals.

There we find no racial division, no religious division, no cultural division, no class division, but everyone finds their true identity in Jesus (Colossians 3:11).

True unity can only come from recognising that we all face a common enemy, ourselves.

And there is only one person who has the power to save us from ourselves.

Will you stand together with Jesus?

Donovan Jasper

New Life Baptist Church