As You Make Your Donations in the Church, Remember…

As You Make Your Donations in the Church, Remember…

You were in need of money to buy goods and was moving around telling friends how desperate you needed to start up a business to help your future. A friend gave you huge quantity of goods on credit and told you to take the gain and return the cost price per good; the capital.

You have sold the goods and started giving excuses that were lies. The truth is that you have sold the goods, took the gain and the capital and invested in another business.

The person’s business is already crumbling because you didn’t meet up to your promise having trusted you. He is crying, calling you on the phone but to no avail and your phones are switched off; you have changed a new line and relocated.

The person you owe may or may not even be a Christian but you are.

It’s time for crusade and there you are running towards the altar during the altar call for donations. You went up there, donated thousands or millions so that God may bless you.

In fact, you are not just asking for blessing but thanking God for how he has been showering you with breakthroughs and divine favors,”makana ekele dike na nke omere imekwa ọzọ.” And in the next Sunday, you went for thanksgiving, thanking God for granting you your request.

However, your helper who gave you goods on credit is already on the verge of relocating to the village. But, there you are basking in righteousness and telling yourself that you have gone for confession.

I don’t even know the kind of preaching that you have heard that is righteously strengthening your wickedness. Preachers should indeed be careful about what they preach.

But let me tell you.

You are an agent of the devil. This is what many of you don’t know and they think they need the devil to posses them before they know that devil is working with their minds. In another sense, you are the devil.

Let me remind you in case you are ignorant or negligent.

Whenever you steal, you are bound to return what you stole. Even if you go for sacramental confession and confess that you stole, you are BOUND to return what you have stolen, otherwise your confession isn’t complete, even if the priest didn’t tell you to do so.This is because there was no actual repentance. You supposed to have even returned what you have stolen to the owner before confession, if actually you have repented.

This is part of RESTITUTION.

When Jesus Christ called down Zacchaeus from the sycamore tree and told him that he will dine with him in his house, Zacchaeus said:”Look, sir, I am going to give half my property to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody I will pay him back four times the amount.”

You may not understand why Zacchaeus made such statement until you understand who Zacchaeus was.

Zacchaeus was a chief tax-collector at Jericho. These Tax collectors are Jews who worked for the Roman empire and collected tax for them. Many tax collectors were dishonest and abused this system by taking far too much and so they cheated the people they collected from. By hook or by crook, they would collect more than required and keep the extra for themselves.

For instance, today many government officials do same to Keke people, market women, bus drivers, etc.

The tax collector Zacchaeus, in his confession to the Lord, mentioned his past dishonesty (Luke 19:8) and so he was going for confession before our Lord but he didn’t stop there, instead he said “I am going to give half my property to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody I will pay him back four times the amount.” Then immediately, Jesus said, “today salvation has come to this house…”

If you go for confession for stealing without returning what you have stolen, what kind of salvation do you want?

Sacramental confession starts with one’s accusation of himself or herself for sins committed and a hearty sorrow for sin done which includes resolution never to go back to sin. This means repentance. How can you say that you have repented when you have not returned what you stole? How have you repented when what you owe is sitting and dinning with you? Returning what you stole is a pure sign of repentance.

So in such situations, Sacramental confession goes with repentance, forgiveness and restitution.

Jesus was even more forceful when he said, “if you are bringing your offering to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar, go and be reconciled with your brother first, and then come back and present your offering” (Mathew 5-23-24).

Nevertheless, there you are thanking God for favors and making donations in the church. Are you thanking God for successful robbery or what?

Even if you go anywhere, to any man of God or god of Man, nothing shall absolve you spiritually of this wickedness, until you have paid back WHAT YOU HAVE STOLEN/OWN and WHAT YOU HAVE DAMGED.

©Fada Henry Charles Umelechi

Truth Series.

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