Why healing and forgiveness are vital - Solomon Star News

Why healing and forgiveness are vital

06 February 2014

THE country needs healing, forgiveness, and reconciliation in order to move forward, a peace builder says.

Pastor Ishmael Idu is founder and president of the Solomon Islands Peace and Traumatic Counselling Centre (SIPTCC).

He has been spearheading training programmes in trauma counselling over the years in communities on Malaita and Guadalcanal who were affected by the civil unrest some 10 years ago.

“To achieve lasting peace we have to heal, forgive, reconcile, and unite,” Pr Idu told the Solomon Star yesterday.

He said 2014 will be another important peace-building year for the country.

Pr Idu said reconciliation cannot be achieved unless the victim is prepared to forgive the offender.

“Yet it is hard to forgive if the heart is full of pain.
“But the only place where we can find lasting peace and be healed is in the embrace of the Father (God),” Pr Idu said.

He said reconciliation without God’s forgiveness is like trying to build a house with its roof first without the foundation.

“Understanding and experiencing God’s heart is the foundation to the healing process.
“We must understand and experience God’s heart when everything goes wrong.

“Sometimes we see God as responsible for all our troubles.
“At times we take offence at God, wondering why he did not step in when we go through hard times.

“But that is not the case; if we see him as the author of our troubles or suffering we will not be heal.
“While wisdom and morals are our guidance, we can see too that religion has also been a basis of division and conflict.
“That is why religious forgiveness is important for advocating peace in our country.”

Pr Ind said that through dialogue, good leadership and cooperation, we can achieve healing, forgiveness, reconciliation, and peace among our people.
He added advocating an inter-religious council lies in cooperation with members.

“This is a forum for promoting spiritual values and resolving the conflict.
“Families can be strengthened through love and peace.
“Promoting a culture of peace can be through seminars, interfaith dialogue, international program and service learning.
“We are one family created by God.”

He added that the highest achievement of men and women are rooted in spiritual, moral development, and nature.
“Human beings long for truth, beauty and goodness.
“Life’s deepest meaning and purpose can be found through their pursuit.

“Each person has an eternal spirit that transcends physical life.
“Spiritual principles are to be practiced in this life so that we are prepared for the eternal world.
“Peace comes through dialogues and cooperation beyond the boundaries of ethnicity, religion and nationality.”

Pr Idu said that lasting peace cannot be archive through political compromise alone, but requires addressing the root causes of conflict.

“Transcending racial, religious and ethnic barriers is an imperative of our time.
“Faith can give people the power to forgive and love to overcome even generations of hatred and violence.”

Pr Idu said living for the sake of others is the way to reconcile the divided human family.

He said that by living for the sake of others, we become “other-centred” rather than “self-centred”.

“The essence of good character is true love expressed through unselfish actions,” he added.