A Christian friend invited me to attend a church service for his son’s dedication. The Saturday preceding the church service, I went to a shop to buy some presents for his son. There, I met a young man I have known in the past but who is now a pastor of a church.
After exchanging some pleasantries, the following dialogue ensued:
Pastor: Sir, it is God’s desire that I shall meet here today.
Me: Okay! What is it all about?
Pastor: Please Sir; I need you to invest in my church.
Me: What kind of investment do you mean?
Pastor: Financial investment.
Me: Would I get some financial returns?
Me: I am sorry Pastor; I don’t think God would like this kind of investment. Moreover, I believe it will amount to using God’s name in vain.
Pastor: Actually, God sent me to ask from you.
Me: Okay; since you and God talk, ask Him to tell me by Himself.
Pastor: May be He has been telling you but you didn’t understand.
Me: Please don’t insult me before I slap your mouth out of your face. Why do you believe that it’s only you that can understand God?
The following day, as I was getting ready for the church dedication service, a man came to my house and this discussion followed:
Man: Ha! Good morning Sir, praise the Lord! It is God’s making that I met you at home. Oh! I am relieved. It is well.
Me: Hey; I am going out. What is it?
Man: Sir, my wife has just given birth to a baby boy through caesarean section. I need some money to discharge mother and baby from the hospital. As a Pastor, I don’t earn much and I haven't opened my own ministry. Sir, if you do this for me, God will bless you bountiful and you will not lack anything; your business will continue to prosper…
Me: And if I don’t give you the money?
Man: Erm… (Hesitation) God will also bless you.
Me: Okay! Let me see what I can do but I have not promised you anything.
Eventually, I got to the church, went through the service to the offering time, which is equal to blessing time. Envelopes were handed over to us. The offerings were done in groups. When it was the turn of the visitors like me, the Pastor told us. “If your mind is telling you that the amount in your envelope is too small for God, let me allow you sometime to add more”.
All the visitors went outside and I followed as I didn’t want to be the odd one out. Everybody started adding more money to his/her envelope. I approached an usher of the church that came outside with us and the following chat occurred between us:
Me: Please Sir, if you can, I need to be clarified an issue to enable me decide how much money to give. Therefore, who are we really giving this money to?
Usher: Oh bless you; every penny you give belongs to God.
Me: Okay! Where is God? Do you see Him? And how do you give Him the money:
Usher: God is everywhere; He’s right here as we are talking; nobody can see God unless you are in spirit. Your money will be used to do God’s work.
Me: Thanks for the clarification.
Usher: Remain blessed as you give.
I moved to a quiet corner, remove the money that I have in the envelope and wrote an ‘I owe you’ (I.O.U) to God. I wrote; God, since the church collection is used to do your work, it will be better I personally do your work with mine. God; please accept this I.O.U in view that I will pay the hospital bill of mother and child. And Pastor, I assure you that by the time you open this envelope I must have used my church collection to do God’s work. With those words I closed the envelope and pay my church collection.
Finally, when I came back home that afternoon, another visitor came. It was another Pastor and we argued as follows:
Pastor: I came to solicit your financial support to my church to enable me to continue doing God’s work. As I was meditating, it was revealed to me to approach you. Sir, remember that God loves a cheerful giver and as Proverb 3:28 states; “Do not say to your neighbour, "Come back tomorrow and I'll give it to you"-- when you already have it with you”…
Me: Yeah!!! I know that bible verse. I have the money but unfortunately I will not give it to you. I will use the money to do God’s work.
Pastor: Sir, which of God’s work?
Me: It’s private and bye.
I immediately sent for the second Pastor to redeem my I.O.U to God. He wanted to start another round of prayer when he received the money. I reminded him that he prayed for me when he came to ask for this money. That prayer is enough, God is not deaf and I don’t need prayer overdose.
These days a lot happen in the name of Christianity and the shams committed in the name of worshipping God. Ultimately, we shall know; who is fooling who?