Righteousness is the only ingredient that makes the soup of government sweet and satisfying to the people, but unfortunately, this ingredient is lacking in most government/political arenas in the world.
I will try to define the term righteousness, its relationship with politics and its importance in any (capitalist and socialist) government and again, the word religion and righteousness, will be used interchangeably for the purpose of clarity.
Definition of Righteousness
Righteousness is a quality that can be possessed by any man/woman who desires it. It is the quality of being morally right or justifiable. It is the quality of being fair and just to fellow humans. This quality must be possessed by world leaders if there must be world peace, and African leaders to be precise, if there must be an end to all the corruption and wickedness that goes on everyday in Africa. When a leader is righteous, then he will be accountable to the people. Then and only then will the people experience true democracy.
“When the godly (righteous) are in authority, the people rejoice. But when the wicked are in power, they groan” Proverbs 29:2 NLT
Karl Marx in his ingenuity and scholarship tried to separate religion from politics, as long as he was concerned, “Religion is the Opium of the people”. That was his own perspective of religion but the word of God made it clear that for a nation to be great and exalted (economically, socially and all-around development) righteousness has its role to play.
We are told in Proverb 14:34 that,
“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” Proverbs 14: 34 ESV
Religion and politics are like a chemical combination of sodium and chloride. They are inseparable. Try to separate the two and you will not have salt. Politics is sour without righteousness. Both are like the wheel and the grease, the engine and oil. Remove the oil from the engine and what you have is failure, rot and decay. Righteousness is like oil to the engine, and more than that, it is like the fuel of government.
Tell me of a nation where crime and evil are normal practices and occurs frequently, where its own people are being killed daily for rituals (by its leaders and privileged bourgeoisies) and I will show you a nation suffering from stagnation in development. Sin is a reproach.
The Importance of Righteousness in a Nation
When the righteous are occupying the seat of power as presidents and commissioners of the land, they represent and respect the people and ensure that they do their jobs with honesty and integrity because of the fear of God. They provide all the basic amenities like hospitals, roads, electricity, and water etc. needed by the people. Sadly, many African leaders do not do this, because there is no fear of God and no righteousness. Many of them travel outside their country for medical treatment because they refused to build standard hospitals in their own country, and many take the money of the people to far away countries while the people are left to suffer due to hunger and poverty. But when there is righteousness in the land, this will not be the case, rather God’s hand will be stretched upon such a country to bless it.
Again, apart from providing amenities like hospitals, roads, electricity, and water, the righteous leader knows that he is the guardian of the people. He provides them with security. Just as the spiritual leaders deliver people from spiritual bondage, the righteous ruler frees his citizens from the hands of kidnappers and terrorist groups. That is why he is called “The commander in chief of the armed forces” Thus the spiritual and political leaders must work together in righteousness to achieve economic and social development of the nation. But when the nation is filled with godless leaders then the people groan. Thus the word of God says,
“… keep the godless from ruling, from laying snares for the people.” (Job 34:30 NLT).
In summary, the presence of righteousness in a nation encourages the people to contribute their best to the economic and social growth/development of the nation because they are given good education, jobs, social amenities and standard living conditions. A righteous leader will not cooperate with robbers who desires to rob his people in the name of foreign investment. Righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a reproach to any people.