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Learning to Love those I Hated // Proud Mpofu

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Proud Mpofu was angry. He felt his tribe the BaKalanga was hated and marginalised, so he hated other tribes in return. Only Jesus coming to save him taught him how to love even his enemies.

My Tribe was Oppressed

“I grew up in Zim. I am one of a minority tribe which is called the BaKalanga. So, as I grew up I felt like my tribe was oppressed, so to say. We were marginalised politically. So, as I grew up, going to university, interacting with everyone – scholars, scholarly ideas, they influenced me to understand oppression and all those things. And I was… I grew angry because of that. Because I felt “we need to fight back!” And I felt like I needed to be more politically active and be involved in accusing other tribes because of what they were doing to my tribe. And that heavily impacted my life in terms of relationship-wise with other tribes.

I felt “we need to fight back!” And I felt like I needed to be more politically active and be involved in accusing other tribes

I Was an Angry Man

Our political climate is not that good when it comes to addressing and discussing those differences. So, I never had any amicable ways of addressing those issues. I never had any platform to raise our concern. And that made me an angry man. I never wanted to talk to those other tribes that I felt were dealing unfairly with my tribe, the BaKalanga.

Understanding How God Loved Us

So when I came to South Africa I came to Christ Church Midrand and started to read the Bible and I came to understand how God loved us to the extent that he sent His only son to die for us. And that message, from the Bible, especially understanding how God loved us, and also understanding that we are all sinners. I mean, I felt like I am not even better than anyone else. And that humbled me and that shaped my thought. And I felt like I was also unfair by… because by feeling that other tribes hated me I also in turn hated them. So I never wanted to deal with those issues in a more friendly way. In a more amicable way. But I was just angry and I wanted revenge!

It humbled me to understand that I’m a sinner who was saved by grace.

I Don’t Exist to Hate

The Christian message, I mean it humbled me to understand that I’m a sinner who was saved by grace. And I felt like “I’m not better” and that message is working in me. Because now I feel like I’m not mandated to hate other people. I don’t exist to hate. Even though I can see hatred somewhere – but, I need to address that by love. By loving people. Loving others back. And I feel like the recurring theme of love in the Bible – it’s just working miracles in me.

the recurring theme of love in the Bible – it’s just working miracles in me.

I Need to Love those I Hated

You can’t go and take revenge because revenge will never pay you anything. But we need to understand, those people, we think they hate us, but God loves them! And they also deserve love from us. And so the Bible is just clear – we need to love each other. No one is better. We are all sinners. And we will never address any social issue without loving those people who are around us. And that message is just amazing.

You know I am not even angry like before. Now I am having good relationships with other people that I never wanted to. I was part of the problem. I thought there is a problem – and I thought some people are a problem – they are causing problems for me! But I felt like I wasn’t even part of that problem and there was no way I would have understood that thing clearly without Jesus coming to me to save me.