I was glad when I was appointed the treasurer of my Church’s new fellowship, that just started in my area. My job was very simple, be in charge of the fellowships finances, especially the monetary offerings given by the fellowship. It was a great privilege to have been placed in charge. In fact, I did the job diligently and I bought a purse that the offerings were kept. I did a good job until I realized that after a long while, no one kept tabs on me or supervised me. I was not accountable to anyone, so I wasn’t reporting the amounts collected.
In my daily reality and amongst my friends, I wasn’t making or earning as much money as they did. This implied that my ability to spend was restricted, compared to that of my friends. I could be considered as having a comfortable life, but my low self esteem, as well as the deep desire to feel among, led me in another direction. The quote “Cut your cloth according to your size” didn’t apply to me then, I desired to be like others. After a while, I started getting tempted with the Church’s offerings, continuous temptations. I started thinking to myself ‘let me just take some money, I would return it soon.’ Before I knew it, I was already spending the offerings kept in my care. I believe the fellowship trusted me and that’s why I was given the responsibility. Meanwhile, I wasn’t even capable of handling and keeping money.
I didn’t stop taking out of the offerings and spending it on vain things. I later realized that my friends never really cared that I was spending cash while I was with them, it never really mattered. Spending at that level was normal for them. I was spending extra cash, yet I couldn’t meet up with their spending. After a while, the cash finished!! I fell back to my normal level again and continued with my way of life. Whenever I thought of the money I had spent, I felt like my heart was going to cut, my conscience always pricked me, because I saw my foolishness, and worst of all I had spent God’s money. I had no way of paying back the money. I didn’t understand much, I was a church member, but I was not born again.
The day finally came, when out of the blues, I was asked to tender the offerings. I was in a state of shock when the request came. I requested for some time, before I returned the money. I had to brainstorm and think of a means of how I was going to pay back. Fortunately for me I was able to borrow some money from a friend to return as the offering. I was very fortunate that I was able to get some money to return, but this experience is one I would never forget forever. To me at that point I was just trying to save face, and I did. Later on down the line, gravity of what I did dawned on me, I had to repent and ask God for forgiveness. If I had done what I did in the old testament, I would have been smitten and punished by God immediately. God’s grace isn’t a license for sin. Today I am better of than before because I am saved, and I understand more now.
My situation can be projected over many spheres and experiences that people have faced and are still facing today. Everywhere there is theft or there are fraudulent activities, the people involved always have an excuse, a reason why they decided to steal, forge, change the books, lie. Even in the church, there are a lot of these kind of stories. I learnt a BIG lesson through my experience, I wasn’t caught or shamed, but it changed me and my approach to God and also to money. We must not let money master us, we must master money, we should not see money as the end but as a means to an end, we must control money and not let it control us. Most importantly, we must also learn to fear God, because he is God!
Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.
– Ephesians 4:28
Seek ye first the Kindgom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you – Matthew 6:33
Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free. – Ephesians 6:5-8
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. – 1 Timothy 6:6-10
Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil. – Ecclesiastes 12: 13-14
A true story
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