People have different objects of fear. Some fear ghost, heights, dark, harm, or person. Some are real while others are products of imagination. Fear, by nature, is a negative emotion. However, there are instances wherein the resulting effects are positive.
There are two types of fear depending on its effects to those who feel or recognize it. One which causes anxiety or physical and mental health problems. The other is one which drives people to self-restraint resulting to a disciplined life and uprightness. The latter is commonly called a “holy fear”. It is directed to God who judges all people. As others say, if we are to fear anyone, we should fear the Creator who has the power to render punishment of eternal perdition.
The word reverence is directly related to fear of God. It connotes deep respect and honor which also produces high esteem and adoration to whom it is directed. In a kingdom, for example, the subjects who serve in the presence of the king act in a well-mannered fashion. They observe propriety and ethical standards in such a way that their demeanor are pleasing before the king. They cannot conduct themselves outside the limits of courtesy and decorum, otherwise, they may be arrested and serve the corresponding penalty.
The above attitude, if rendered to earthly leaders, must all the more be observed before the God of all. If such will be the practice, we can expect a well-behaved citizenry in a country. Sad to say, in the Philippines, some are not. There are people who commit crimes in broad daylight or even in the presence of persons in authority. Others lie without fret or pervert consciously, unfettered by any judgment that awaits them.
Reverence and fear of God, thus, refers to how we relate to God grounded on love and affection. It is more than just the performance of religious traditions. It is a relationship that produces righteousness because it demands self-control or suppression of self-will. Any form of veneration without the by-product of a holy life is not genuine but a superficial one. To be a true reverence and fear of God, it should drive the person to a commitment to avoid sin and bad habits.
How then can we properly observe reverence and fear of God? It must be coupled with the belief that God exists who sees everything that we do and believing that there is corresponding consequences for disobedience. However, our motivation for reverence should not be for fear of chastisement. We should revere God because we endear Him. This is our leverage as Filipinos considering that we implore the aid of the Almighty God in building our nation.
In view of the above perspectives, the value of reverence and fear of God should be deemed an indispensable value in seeking for considerable change in national scale. People normally don’t fear penal laws. They boldly and cunningly evade punitive measures. Only when they revere and fear God heartily that they become law-abiding citizens. (Nathaniel A. Saquiban, CRFV)
The Ultimate Plan
God is the only one we know not where he originated. We can therefore assume that He is the origin of everything. When He creates a plan, it is always original. The earth alone is his masterpiece. No other creation or innovation is created without associating to the creation of God.
Looking back, God has an original plan for everything. Let us see for example the family of Israel that became a nation. God has planned for them to stay in Canaan. However, due to some circumstances, they went to Egypt. For 430 years, they stayed in Egypt where the promises of God to Abraham seems to have been lost. Who would have thought that a simple cry out to the Father would lead to the great Exodus the world has ever witnessed? Yet even before that, God has already prepared a leader schooled in the royal educational system of Egypt and in the deep words of God. The life of Moses too was quite beautiful. God has planned for him to lead the Israelites and it started when Israelites were in great peril and agony. Moses, an Israelite boy destined by the Egyptian soldiers to be dead by royal decree was taken by the Royal Princess to be her son. On top of that, she was cared for by his biological mother. In the middle of chaos, God’s plan prevailed.
Let us look at the life of Queen Esther. She became an orphan and was cared for by his uncle Mordecai. She was nobody in a foreign land but God has already promised Abraham that He will bless the descendants of Abraham. Through the obedience of Esther to his uncle, a known man of God, she became a queen. Dark times came and they were planned to be killed with a Royal decree. Yet through her prayer and trust in the Lord, the King who approved the decree protected them.
Daniel, a young boy captured and dragged to a land of foreign gods, became a star in that nation. Bound to a land of false Gods, he stood his ground of simply obeying the teachings of God. Soldiers bend the rules to cater to his needs and he proved he was right. Miracle after miracle and he became a leader. Time went further and his name became even greater when he defied another royal decree and was thrown into the lion’s den crushing the heart of the King. Through the pandemonium, God’s name was held on high. Until now, his name is remembered. As God promised Abraham, He will make his name great.
Looking back to Israel as a nation, God created a plan for them to live and be blessed in the land of Canaan. They were previously driven out of their homeland due to their disobedience. However, since God’s original plan is for them to stay in Canaan, they went back to their land of promise in 1948. They started as a small tribe until they became a powerful nation with advanced technology and modern infrastructure.
When God created a plan, it will always come to pass. With God’s simple reminder of obeying Him, He will pour out his blessings as He miraculously fulfills his blue print in every nation, every family and every life. (Micah A. Tecne, CRFV Action Officer)
Transparency - A Colossal Challenge?
It is an established principle in public service that the public must be informed of all transactions and activities of the government except in cases where privileged communications apply or classified information and state secrets may be divulged to the prejudiced of national security and interest. This principle, as well as a value, of transparency is the underlying reason why posting of notices and public documents in government websites and other official media platforms or in mandatory conspicuous places are required. Publication is also an indispensable requirement for the effectivity of a new enactment, and public consultation is necessary in legislation in cases where human rights may be affected. All because of the right of every citizen to information on matters of public concern as enshrined in Section 7, Article III of the 1987 Constitution. This is also to promote participatory governance as encouraged to be practiced under our existing laws.
These show that even before we recognize transparency as a value, it is already embodied in our laws, rules and regulations pertaining to the operation of government instrumentalities, agencies, and units. It is therefore expected that it should have been an institutional value being observed by everyone in a government office. However, far from what is expected, it takes the legislation of the Freedom of Information Bill to strengthen the observance of the value of transparency in public offices. Surprisingly, even members of Congress took time to pass this law. Some claim that certain provisions of the proposed Bill transgress the highly protected right to privacy.
The above reasoning is patently illogical, trivial, and unconvincing to the prudent. The proposed Bill admits of certain exceptions for the protection of citizens’ rights. Even the corollary Executive Order No. 02 issued by the President acknowledges exceptions to be listed and defined by the Department of Justice and the Office of the Solicitor General.
Looking into the nature of “transparency to the public”, it is institutionally and individually imperative. Apart from the disclosure of official records, public documents, and government research data by a public office, it is also required in our laws the individual filing of Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth or SALN and Financial Disclosure. Again, in the astonishment of many, even the highest magistrate in the land was removed from office simply on the non-compliance of this basic obligation.
Why transparency appears to be so exacting? Apparently, it will subject the officials concerned to scrutiny and exposure. This, however, is not true to a person who has nothing to hide and whose life is an open book to everyone. That person is ready to account what is duly forthcoming under his or her care upon query, investigation, or inspection.
Let us note, thus, that transparency is the only way we can gain the trust of people around us. If we are vying for a leadership function in this coming election, we should underscore this value if we are to win the confidence of the electorate and future constituents. It is also an ethical conduct that should be upheld if we are to build relationship in the workplace. It nurtures open communication, interaction, and active participation among workers which leads to organizational success.
Undoubtedly, transparency is applicable in both public and private life and the practice of which should not be a struggle.
If right this moment, we are to stand before a huge crowd of different faces and races, spotlight on us, and our being a Filipino is the only characteristic we have that is being made known to everyone looking, how do we feel? Register that initial feeling you have towards such a situation - that raw and unprocessed emotion you have before your brain and reasoning started working.
Many things happened, a lot are taking place, and more will happen that can influence the image of the Philippines and of its citizens. In the web of all these events, whether positive or negative, shameful or something to be proud of, good or bad, the fact will remain that we are who we are - Filipinos. How we feel about it is where the challenge is cast.
As God’s creation, we are no accident, every detail in our life has been wonderfully, thoughtfully, and perfectly designed by Him. Knowing this, our natural response should be gratitude and pride towards the identity He gave us including our race and nation. While it is ideal to feel this way, our failure to realise how uniquely God created us, which is a form of identity crisis, sheds light to the bad, the negative, and the shameful reasons why we may feel otherwise.
While we can enumerate the many reasons why we should be proud of our being a Filipino and the reasons why we must feel shame, such is not the point. Doing so is like listing down conditions, a checklist that must be ticked before we get to possess national pride as a virtue. Or in most cases, the natural response where we feel proud when good and positive things take place and ashamed when it’s the other way. The list will be endless and bad and good things will continue to happen, meaning the value of national pride is inconsistent and again, conditional. What can we do when the circumstances and other people are beyond our control?
Let us go back to who we are, we are altogether beautiful and perfect, there is no flaw in us. As God’s handiworks and created to do good works that were laid out before us even before we were born, let us focus on the things that are within our control and stop fretting on matters beyond. Taking a look at the reasons why shame is the winner over national pride, let us strive to turn the tables around and understand these events from the perspective of our individual perfection and uniqueness.
We must take every negative circumstance as an opportunity to continue doing good. That while the reason to feel shame is overwhelming and while foreigners may judge or belittle us, we must see it as a chance to prove them wrong. We must not let anyone look down on us, but set an example for others in our speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. We are the key, the light, and the instrument to define what our nation is, who its people are, and demonstration of the value of national pride. In such a scenario, all the conditions in our checklist become irrelevant. We become the reason for national pride and our consistency towards feeling proud of our race and our country will never again be put to question.
Going back to our first scenario, spotlight on us as Filipino, standing before a huge crowd of various nationalities, what do we feel? (Keren May Busaing, CRFV)
Today’s craze in fashion and social media gave advent on aesthetic consciousness. We are accustomed with fascinating and mystifying realm of different experiences from beautiful to ugly experiences in terms of physical appearances or even pleasant to bewildering practices and attitudes. Most of the time, people project themselves to be good and commendable before the general public. It is self-gratifying on their part to be appreciated. However, internal struggles and adversarial reactions from within are brewing because their own expectations were not met that resulted to frustrations and disappointments. There is so much fear to be ridiculed or not to be accepted. Moreover, they themselves desired to just be themselves without criticism or being put to shame.
It is time to be set free from such enslavement. The key is to go back to who we really are, created and originally designed by God according to His image and likeness. He imparted in us His very being and nature. One grand example of His nature is holiness. Jesus Christ Himself said that we be holy because our heavenly Father is holy. Holiness is an attribute of becoming “more than being good and morally upstanding. God's holiness is His defining characteristic. It’s a term used in the Holy Scriptures to describe both His goodness and His power. It is completely unique and utterly all-powerful, radiating from God like an energy.” Thus, the beauty of His holiness was revealed, realized and understood.
We are called to live His nature. We are urged and exhorted through the commandment of God through His Son Jesus that we should abound more and more in both faith and grace to walk and to please God. It is God’s will that we be sanctified and cleansed from all unrighteousness because this is the hallmark of those who fear and love Him. It is a proof that we had totally dedicated our lives to Him. Either as a public figure or a private one, we should abstain from all forms of immorality which was defined as evil, sinful or otherwise wrong behavior. These wrong behaviors can be associated to wrongful acts as defined in the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines. These, among others, include crimes against public order and public morals; crimes against persons, personal liberty and security; and crimes against property, chastity and honor.
As Saint Paul enunciated, we should know how to possess and guard our own lives in sanctification and honor. This simply means that we walk through the highway of holiness where no unclean thing lingers, no destruction nor devourer lurks, and we will not go astray. Walking through this pathway means that we should never passionately lust for power or anything contrary to God’s commandment. We will not take advantage of and defraud our fellow people. For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. So, when we live a life of holiness, God’s beauty and glory will continue to radiate through us. Peace, contentment, security, protection and gladness will always flourish. This is the real beauty in us, the beauty of His holiness. Therefore, he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit to lead and help us live a holy life. (Jesus V. Sison, CRFV)
CRFV Winning Team
A company of men and women who have committed their lives to the cause of national transformation.