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The Legacy of a Peacemaker


Photo by: Africa Renewal

As much of the world mourns the passing of peacemaker, a friend sent me this quote of Nelson Mandela

“I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended.” Nelson Mandela

I then found the tribute of a South African pastor who explains his reasons for honoring the man who, after spending 27 years in prison for sabotage and attempting to overthrow the government, led a divided nation from the brink of civil war.

A South African Pastor Shares Why South Africans Honor Nelson Mandela

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21 Responses to “The Legacy of a Peacemaker”

  1. foreverblessed says:

    Indeed, what a legacy.
    What would have happened if he would have been full of vengeance?
    But he was not, what a good example of peace making!
    Last night there were programs about him, the one after the other. Mandela had said that in fact he was thankful that they had arrested him, otherwise he would have spilled innocent blood. So the time in prison was a turning point, he was brought to a standstill, and he made gold out it.
    He also said he was full of hatred when he was released: when he would think about that they had taken his life, his family life, his young years. How did he get rid of his hatred?

    If we are brought to a standstill by our Lord, then we should consider the work He wants to do in us:
    Gal 5:22-23 love, joy, peace…
    But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] v22 Amplified bible
    We cannot work it up ourselves, but the Spirit in us does, we have to ask God for it.
    (who over here, some time ago, told us to ask for what we do not have: James 1:5,17)

  2. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA Friends –

    The words of Nelson Mandela ring true for the living this day after his heavenly homecoming:

    “with freedom come responsibilities”

    How I pray for my nation, as Mandela prayed for his! National unity – or unity in any setting — school, church, mission organization – requires true devotion to God and to one to another, always with attentiveness to the work we accomplish together. Forgiveness is a must among people. Thank-you, President Mandela.

    I am grateful today for Nelson Mandela’s joyful and humble willingness to put his life on the line for freedom. He leaves a legacy of discipline, focus and sustained determination to leave the world better than before.


  3. SFDBWV says:

    I don’t know if the *times* produce the *man* or if the *man* is produced for the *times*, but one thing is for certain Nelson Mandela was the *right man* for the season in South Africa.

    I am one who believes that such men should be honored while they live, remembered for their contribution after they die.

    I work the crypto quote in the daily newspaper and Mandela is often one who is quoted. The longer quote Mart has shared with us shows us that Mandela was just a man like many of the rest of us, but unlike many of us was able to *see* behind, amidst, and ahead of him with humble dignity and wisdom.

    Some will learn from him, some will not, some will associate themselves with him now for their political ambitions, while others will begin to dismantle what they can of his reputation.

    A good man has been taken out of a world that most likely never deserved him.


  4. poohpity says:

    One of his quotes that has always helped me is “Revenge is like drinking poison and expecting your enemy to die”. The respect I have for that man of men is phenomenal. The way to not let his legacy die is to live what he taught. I saw Jesus come alive in the man of Nelson Mandela.

  5. BruceC says:

    Did he ever profess a faith in Christ?

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  6. poohpity says:

    His life sure did speak the teachings of Jesus in actions. Sometimes people say they are Christians, wear crosses, and have little fish on their cars yet their speech and actions are far from the teachings of Jesus. Mandiba practiced humility, forgiveness, peace and wisdom so I look at the fruit of his life and by what he lived I would say yes that he knew Jesus more than most I know. But yes he was a Christian he accepted Christ and was baptized when he was young and was a Bible teacher in villages around Cape Town.

  7. BruceC says:

    I have articles showing both sides of the coin; the past and the more recent times. So I will not comment any further rather than cause a stir.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  8. poohpity says:

    Will it change in anyway the legacy of his life or his character or his accomplishments?

    Both Chuck Missler and Hitler professed to be Christians while Mandela professed to be a servant. Only one of those lived what was professed and the actions spoke way louder than words.

  9. Artle says:

    There are always two perceptions of every person. Reality and as seen through God’s eyes.

  10. belleu says:

    After reading what Mart wrote and the tribute to Nelson Mandela, I thought, “What a joy it is to read about a good man who was a leader in this world.” Every day we hear and read about evil dictators and rulers who oppress their people. It just lifts my heart to read about Mandela’s forgiveness and humility. It is wonderful to see the world applaud a man who lived out the principles of God.

  11. SFDBWV says:

    In association with Bruce’s question, I too don’t believe I know of any religious affiliation ever associated with Mandela and wondered the same.

    Last evening for only a brief period of time I seen a little of the story of the struggle to free South Africa from its racially controlled government. There seemed to be many who were involved in the struggle and many un-named who gave their lives. As many who were demonized by their countrymen for their positions.

    It seemed unsettling for me to see Mandela standing alongside with the Communist party fist raised in either salute or defiance.

    It should be remembered that the world also embraced another peaceful leader who helped change the political world in the man of Gandhi, who may have demonstrated Christian actions, but was not only non Christian, but critical of Christian’s in general.

    Probably, as Bruce has eluded, best for me to say that Mandela seemed to be a kind and gentle man and as Belleu has also said, an anomaly in the picture of world leaders.


  12. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    The Rev. Andrew Young reminds us (NewsMax) that Nelson Mandela was educated in a Christian atmosphere among people of faith in God through Christ.

    While I make no claim for Mandela’s purity in any way, proving that Mandela was a practicing, Bible-believing Christian is like proving I love my children. I can only show evidence. It seems to me Nelson Mandela lived out the Exodus story in his life-time. How could that happen without the anointing of the Lord?

    If a 95-year-old has spent close to 1/3 of his life in prison, and emerges to love both sides of his apartheid nation — both victims and persecutors — who am I to critique his lovingkindness? Apartheid is no more, and Mandela’s name will endure in that victory as much as the name of Gandhi or Lincoln or Wilberforce.


  13. poohpity says:

    Gandhi was critical of Christians because he thought they profess one thing and do another. God seems to use anyone He chooses to shine a light on the heart to reveal what is hidden inside.

    How many of those who say they believe harbor resentment, bitterness and anger not only at someone but also at God? How many withhold forgiveness because someone did not ask to be forgiven? The best one is how many have learned to love their enemies by trying to understand them?

  14. SFDBWV says:

    Thank you Maru and pooh, I too get “newsmax”, but rarely get time to read it.

    As I previously had stated now that Mandela is dead he will be both canonized and demonized by people who do so for their own reasons. I personally have no connections to this man other than what has been presented about him in the world of news.

    Unquestionably he was the right man for the struggle in South Africa to have been thrust into center stage and as I also earlier have said his humble dignity has thrust him into being “Christlike” in his behavior and someone for those who follow to imitate.

    I would suppose if I looked for a reason for me to not know about his religious affiliations it is because he didn’t make it a point to name Christ in his presentations.

    Which raises another issue; do we not do all things with Jesus not only in mind, but ahead of our actions as was the Ark before the Israeli in their conquests?

    Do we *first* proclaim Jesus as Lord and then go about our actions, or do we not?

    Is this one of the matters that irritates others that we are constantly proclaiming Jesus to a degree it becomes annoying?


  15. poohpity says:

    Steve, when you do something for your neighbor do you proclaim Christ before you act? Or tell them that you are doing what you are doing in the name of Jesus? As the mayor of your community do you share the gospel before you perform your duties? How many Christians have even shared the gospel with one person?

    As President Bush or any other Christian president proclaimed the gospel as they stood before a nation filled with many types of people with many differing beliefs then give his state of the union address. I wonder how that would have worked out?

  16. blestsparrow says:

    Last night on CNN I heard former Pres.B.Clinton re:N.Mandela
    saying….. that N.Mandela told him on the day of his release from prison as he walked out those prison doors and then he looked back and said he made a vow ” I choose to forgive, for if I don’t forgive I am still in prison”.
    He chose to put his past and hurt behind him, he would not allow bitterness and anger to control him, nor did he seek revenge. There is a freedom in a one sided forgivness. If he sat around and waited for the offender to apologize he would still be enslaved and inprisoned. N.Mandela knew that he could still have a future (by forgiving) and knew he would no longer be bound by the past.

    “WOW as I pondered such a chosen truth. I then asked myself “who have I not forgiven?” Am I presently in a prison and enslaved and bound to the past from the wrongs of others simply because I have chosen not to forgive” Am I still waiting for an apology or have I forgiven those who have wronged me and moved on. It doesn’t take grace to love those who love you, but it does take grace to forgive and love those who have wronged you.

    Forgiveness is truly a freedom ~ Christ promised “the truth will set you free”.

  17. SFDBWV says:

    This past week we have buried 2 friends and another is in hospice care at home, I have already marked off the grave location of the one in hospice in anticipation of a possible snow cover.

    I knew these people, I knew of their suffering as well as their joys and my heart is saddened for those who love and loved them.

    One a wife and mother another, a childhood friend and fellow coal miner, the last a coach and school teacher who in these last months can’t recall much of anything.

    They didn’t change the world as Mandela is given credit for, they were just good people who loved and were loved, who made the world around them a little better for all.

    Whereas for each of my friends I can say that now they can go to God with a clear conscience and forgiveness; I only know about Mandela that which others have to say, but I can say that all now stand before God equally.

    The Proverbs say that a good mans reputation will live long after they are gone, while an evil mans will stink. Jesus said that those who publicly proclaim Him as Lord will be publicly honored before God by Him.

    Most of us aren’t given the task that Mandela was given, but be assured that his task as well as ours can only be achieved by the anointing and empowerment from God.

    While the world is morning and praising Mandela I hope that they also take the time to honor and praise God and His Son Jesus as well.


  18. plumbape says:

    I have a question off topic so I ask Mart if that is okay? It is something I read in Good News magazine about Christmas. That’s all I’m saying about it.

    I’m floored by the things I thought I knew and find out that was not really even close to the truth. I remember hearing about Nelson Mandela. I must have thought what he was in prison for was accurate and that he was far from being like he apparently was! Me of all people should have known about other countries locking people up, but in this country in prison the rule of thumb is deny, deny, deny. One out of a great many might not be guilty, lol.

  19. poohpity says:

    Steve, what makes it so offensive to you to celebrate the life and accomplishments of Mandela? That does not stop a believer from celebrating Jesus. Just like those in your community are celebrating the life of those lost the community of Mandela is just larger.

    blestsparrow, I also find it amazing the lengths of forgiveness especially when it is given to enemies. I remember that at one time I was an enemy of God yet, that is what is so totally amazing about God’s grace. The atrocities we can not even imagine done to those in SA for that matter all over Africa many can not even think of such things but Jesus heard their cries and sent help. If it was by showing how forgiving can heal a nation and bring peace, I see the hand of the Master all over it.

  20. poohpity says:

    The message of forgiveness is spreading like wild fire all over Africa found in the Cross and if it’s example is found in someone they could see so be it.

  21. poohpity says:

    It also came alive here in Dr. King, it also came alive from Africa when Newton wrote “Amazing Grace” after the things done to people from Africa and the forgiveness he received.

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