Before I go into this story, I’ll like to set a little background.
This event happened on my first Sunday home from campus break. I had been away from home for eleven months and there was nothing spectacular about me save that I was slimmer and a born again Christian.
I went to church that day bubbling in the joy of my four-month-old faith. I wished everyone would share in this beauty that was now my life and give their lives to God too. But if they wished not to, they should keep their ignorant lives and mindset from me. Haha, too harsh?
As much as I loved the Lord, I had zero to little prayer or study life and ran my life on the “fuel” we got from our three times a week meetings on the campus. All I had to offer were teachings I’d heard before.
Now about that special Sunday:
For want of an extra teacher, I was given the chance to handle the pre-teen class. Inwardly, I nodded. They could not have made a better choice. I was sure they had sensed the change in me too.
Proudly, I walked up to the front of my little class and spent the next forty minutes screaming on those kids to give their lives to Christ and be translated from brats to better human beings.
At the end of my teaching, I asked if they had any questions and a boy that looked about twelve raised his hand.
“If you say you are born again then, why did you make attachments. Don’t you know it’s a sin and you’re going to hell?”
My blood ran hot as I looked at the lad who had just “insulted” me as I waited for my brain to re-boot and formulate a befitting reply.
How my brain interpreted that question was: “Are you sure you’re a real Christian and you understand the deep matters of Christianity?”
He was asking me if I understood Christianity? ME that gave my life to Christ last four months? ME, that Jesus called by name? ME, that had finished foundational Bible school with even a certificate to show for it? ME, that has never missed bible study any Wednesday since then? He was asking that ME if I understood the corners of Christianity?
I sized the little ugly thing that had only four Sunday clothes (This had been my church for years, so yes, I knew this), and was boldly staring daggers at me with a raised chin.
Like whaaaaatt! His ignorance was startling and hilarious!
So laugh I did and hard I laughed but I was embarrassed too. What kind of stupid and backward question was that?
“Who told you that attachment is a sin?” I was still laughing. “The wool your mum adds to her hair is it not an attachment?”
“It’s not”, he said. If his chin could be higher they would have touched the ceiling.
“You don’t even know anything…”
“It’s you that don’t know anything. You don’t even know you’re going to hell”.
“I can’t go to hell because attachment is not a sin”.
“You will go to hell. It’s in the bible that…”
“Oya, oga, show me where. You won’t read your Bible but be saying nonsense everywhere you can’t defend”.
“It’s you that is nonsense”.
I sat on my teacher’s sit, deceptively calm, smiling like Chucky while he stood in the middle of the class as we threw ugly words above the heads of the other students.
Remember I said the service was about to end? Not up to five minutes into this exchange, the adult church service ended. Meaning every other activity must end too because parents would soon be coming to pick up their children from the different children sections.
“I am not saying nonsense because it’s not in the Bible”, I refused to let go.
“Just know you’re going to Hell fire…”
I removed my hair scarf, tied it on my waist before pouncing on him and giving him the beating of his life for insinuating my Christianity was fake and I, a hypocrite.
Of course, I did not pounce on him. Neither do I think I could have but I like to think I would have had my brother, who had come to walk me to the car not dragged me out.
Pause again. Your imagination is running wilder than even mine. No, it’s not how you’re imagining it happened. My brother did not have to hold me by the waist, manoeuvring me swiftly towards the door, with me screaming insults at the boy.
Wisdom, that’s my brother, held me by the hand and said simply (which I think is a testament to how cultured my family can be in public), “Chioma, leave him”.
I turned to him immediately, “Can you imagine the nonsense he’s saying?”
“Just leave him. Let’s go”.
And because I know daddy hates waiting unnecessarily after church service, I left but not after silently deciding to never teach there again. I had decided that since my attachment is a problem, they should teach themselves 🙂.
Crazy, isn’t it?
Here’s what’s stranger: That I did not think I did anything wrong or even remembered this event until approximately two years later.
This time around, I’m at my campus fellowship drama rehearsal and I’ve written a vacation drama script to exhort the church on the right posture to take during the holidays.
My team and I are expounding on the topic, adding flesh to the bones I brought. I’m writing down the points they bring up as examples of challenges students face on their return from campus fellowship when I have an idea myself which I share.
The idea was on the need to be humble. I explained to them that as a result of our more enlightened nature and the “hard meat” of the gospel we’re used to eating on campus, we’re bound to notice “strange” things we might have been okay with before.
I established that the solution should be to correct with love and pray when we face unmoving walls of ignorance or obstinacy, leaving them to God instead of arguing immaturely.
“We must try not to argue because, there’s a slight line that pride can come from”, I’m saying when like a movie, that event flashed before my eyes with all the force of a searing sword and seated itself in my heart. Talk about pain!
The team loved the idea and we proceeded to act out a nearly similar story (with a sub-topic, pride). I cringed throughout🤦🏾♂️.
My embarrassment was strong. It was like watching a drama titled, Chioma’s Stupidity. Two rehearsals later, and watching the ministration from backstage the next day, I can assuredly tell you the Holy Spirit has that drama deeply ingrained in my memory.
Love is not Puffed Up
The next time you face a situation like mine where you know you’re in the right, how you handle it saves a lot about your maturity in Christ. Try not to re-make the movie, Chioma’s Stupidity II. Let me save your time and energy with this simple review- It’s a trashy movie.
Look at how Romans 14:1 (MSG Translation) put it:
Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don’t see things the way you do. And don’t jump all over them every time they do or say something you don’t agree with—even when it seems that they are strong on opinions but weak in the faith department. Remember, they have their own history to deal with. Treat them gently.
God’s Word Strikes You before Your Audience
Also, if you’re a minister using whatever application, with God’s word as your weapon of trade, either in songs, preaching, writing whatever, stamp in your head that what you’re handling is a two-edged sword. It should first strike you, it’s wielder before any target.
So beloved ministers, allow yourself to be ministered to first before ministering to others. That’s how to be preserved as a worker in God’s vineyard.
Peace be Unto you.
I love hearing from you so drop a comment, will you?😊