It was imputed that a couple invited their pastor for dinner. After enjoying the food and warm fellowship, the pastor left. Later, that night, the husband discovered that the open cheque they kept on the table was missing. Who else was the thief, but the pastor! He informed his wife about the missing cheque and she too concluded that the pastor was the thief. In anger, they started saying that almost all pastors are thieves, deceiving people, especially, their members.
Well, that was an overstatement, for not all ministers are fraudulent. We, however, give the public cause, most of the time to ridicule us. Do we not have some Pastors, who tamper with the funds of their church? Do we not have some Pastors, who lure their members’ wives or daughters to hotels for inappropriate relationships or being associated with occult practices? It took me time and effort to convince an Army Colonel, who is related to me, to believe that all ministers of God are not corrupt. He was surprised to hear that we handed over our Church leadership to a retired Army Major General and his deputy, after running the Church for twenty years. The General and his Deputy, handed the leadership also, to the present leadership after eight years in office.
When I introduced myself as a minister of God somewhere, someone asked me the name of my Church and I told him. ‘Is it Plc or Ltd?’ he asked me. I told him I didn’t understand what he meant. And I did not! ‘Is Church not a business outfit?’ he asked. He was dumbfounded when I told him that the three of us in leadership of the Church refused to be on salary, in spite of the pressure by the Church Board. As an individual, when I was working, I refused to accept honorarium from various Churches that were inviting me to minister. It was after my retirement that I started to accept gifts. We must work hard to redeem our lost image.
In the story above, the couple decided to leave their Church, not feeling comfortable with the Pastor who stole their cheque. One day, the woman met the Pastor somewhere and confronted him for stealing their cheque. Respect would have made some wives to discuss with him how they could not find the cheque they kept on the table the night they hosted him. Not this woman! Some wives would have been so angry that they would not talk to him. Thank God she did. Some men would have ignored her when she accused him of taking the missing cheque. Not Uncle! He rather explained that he saw it and put it inside her Bible that was on the table.
When the woman got home, she brought out the Bible, opened it and lo and behold, the cheque was there. She showed the cheque to her husband and informed him of how she met the Pastor on the road and confronted him about the cheque and how the man told her that he put the cheque in the Bible that was on the table. Some wives may not tell their spouses about the encounter with the Pastor especially if they were the ones that insisted that he stole the cheque and their husbands tried to give the Pastor benefit of doubt. Some women will cash the cheque, since it was an open cheque and spend it on themselves. Not this woman! If she did, her husband would continue to see the Pastor as a thief, when he is not. Will the couple go and tender an apology to the Pastor for calling him a thief? One may ask. Human wisdom may tell them not to go as the Pastor may sue them successfully for defamation of character. On the contrary, the Spirit of God will compel them to go and apologize irrespective of the consequence. It is all revealing that the Pastor put the cheque in the couple’s Bible and for about two months, none of them could see it. One wonders why the Bible was not opened for that period of time. One wonders why the Bible was placed on the dining table during the dinner. Was it to impress the Pastor and give a wrong picture of their spiritual life?
Sometime ago, I read how a lady met her friend in tears and asked her what was wrong. ‘I missed my period’, she told her. The lady went and reported the matter to the choir master. ‘Sister Joy’, she told him, ‘has been pretending to be a virgin but now, she is pregnant’. Joy was to be suspended from the choir but thank God that a committee they set up interviewed her. ‘Joy, we have a report that you are pregnant, how can it be?’ they asked her. ‘How can I be pregnant, am I not a virgin?’ she replied. ‘Did you not tell Sis Peace that you missed your period?’ they asked her. ‘I did. I missed an interview I was to attend because of the delay I had on the road. The period allotted to me had elapsed when I reached there.’ They started laughing, realizing that what she missed was the period for the interview and not her mensuration.
‘Why did Sister Peace imagine the worst?’ we may ask. It’s all about wrong perceptions and imaginations about someone. These influence negatively and have adverse effects. Peace should have asked Joy for more clarification when she heard the word, ‘my period’. She would not have carried the matter to the Church. Envy of Joy’s gifts, spiritual or natural, may be the reason for the report to Church leaders.
Rumour mill may rife when Sister Mary, the bethrothed wife of Uncle Joseph, the carpenter, was known to be pregnant. Trust ladies, Mary could have done her best to conceal the pregnancy even from Uncle. When he knew, some men would have summoned his family members and that of Mary’s, where in anger, he would inform them how his wife had brought disgrace to both families by getting pregnant outside marriage. He did not do that but decided to send her away quietly. Thank God for the revelation of God to him about the pregnancy. This is an example to follow.
I wrote in one of my books how a man and a lady at OAU were moving together. One weekend, the man travelled to his village and when he returned, rumour mill was high because of a British youth, who came to the Campus with a new car and spent the day with the girl. Somehow, the man believed it and started reacting negatively towards her. In arrogance, he reminded her of her British boyfriend, who put the Campus ablaze. In a calm but surprised manner, the lady reminded him of what she had told him about how her mum married a British man before she returned to Nigeria and remarried. It was her elder brother that he was referring to as her boyfriend. Thank God for Uncle, he apologized.
Hard things are better settled amicably. May we not draw quick conclusions on things that are not yet clear to us.
For further comment, Please contact: Osondu Anyalechi: 0909 041 9057; [email protected]