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Weekly devotional: Kūpono: A journey of justice, forgiveness, and redemption

June 2, 2023

Contributed by KS Maui Kahu Kalani Wong KSK’74

Ka Ipu o Lono shares weekly devotionals to provide spiritual enrichment to members of the Kamehameha Schools ‘ohana. For more inspiration, visit the KS “Our faith” website.

Heluhelu Baibala
Ua hōʻike mai nō ia iā ʻoe, e ke kanaka, i ka mea maikaʻi;
A he aha ka mea a ke Akua i kauoha mai ai iā ʻoe,
Ke ʻole e hana i ka pono, a e aloha i ka lokomaikaʻi,
A e hoʻohaʻahaʻa i ka hele ʻana me ke Akua?
- Mika 6:8

He has told you, mortal one, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God?
- Micah 6:8

He manaʻo o ke kahu
How would you act if you were treated unjustly? Would you vow to get even? Would you seek to do harm to the person who harmed you? Kamehameha ‘Ekahi had to ponder that very question. After sustaining a loss in a battle, he set off to get even by attacking a peaceful fishing village. He jumped out of his waʻa and charged at two lawaiʻa, but his foot got caught in the reef. One of the kāne smashed his paddle on Kamehameha’s head, splintering the paddle in the process and knocking the moʻi unconscious. When Kamehameha came to, he realized that he could have been easily killed, but he was spared by the fisherman. Years later, Kamehameha had the two men brought before him and he pardoned them for they had only been protecting their land and family. He gave them land and apologized by proclaiming the Kānāwai Māmalahoe, the Law of the Splintered Paddle. To be kūpono, means that we are honest and fair in our relationships with others. We treat each other with respect.

To be kūpono means that you act with an upright character. You recognize when you have done wrong and seek to do right. The Apostle Paul was not always kūpono. For a time, he sought to arrest and imprison believers, even asking for them to be put to death. God saw beyond this and spoke to his heart after which Paul became one of the most influential apostles, spreading the Gospel, making disciples, and starting numerous churches. When we are kūpono, we show aloha by sharing ke aloha o ke Akua with all needing his guidance and presence.

Let us seek to be kūpono by living honorable lives that are evident through haʻahaʻa actions of aloha. Let us act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God.

Kānāwai Māmalahoe:
E nā kānaka, E mālama 'oukou i ke akua A e mālama ho‘i ke kanaka nui a me kanaka iki; E hele ka 'elemakule, ka luahine, a me ke kama A moe i ke ala 'A‘ohe mea nāna e ho‘opilikia.
Hewa nō, make.

Law of the Splintered Paddle:
Oh people, honor thy god; respect alike [the rights of] people both great and humble. May everyone, from the old men and women to the children. Be free to go forth and lie in the road without fear of harm. Break this law, and die.

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