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CHANGE FOR GOOD







The year is ending and many people would start again with New Year resolution wahala. All fine if it works for you. After all, there is nothing wrong in resolving to become a better you. But my question is; must it be at the beginning of the year you determine to do thing right or is there a special momentum you gather on the 1st of every January you don't get other times. Anyway that is by the way. New Year resolution maganas are strictly personal affairs to me.

A lot of times we preach and advocate for peace and forgiveness, harmony and love. “Forgive those who have wronged you”, “move on”, “show them love” “unforgiveness and bitterness kills” we go on and on. No dispute to this, they are all true sayings. But have we noticed how some people deliberately wrong and hurt others especially among believers for their selfish interest and go practically scot-free. In few cases where courage is summoned to address the main issues (because most times the real root of the matter is not addressed) the offender either absconds from church and continues on his or her slanderous mission or insist on not seeing anything wrong in their actions.

Nine years ago my husband and I were looking for an accommodation, we met an elder in church who frankly told us he doesn’t give his house to members of his church and also people from a particular ethnic group and we fell into both categories but he was going to consider us because of his long standing relationship with my husband. Although we liked the house but I left not happy because of what he said and we never took his house. Years down the line I have come to understand some of his reasons for such stereotypical decision. I have also heard people say that some believers do not like helping people, I have even joined a few times in say that too but also I have come to realize that it is better you hear from the person why he or she made such decisions and you will be shocked as I was with one. These decisions may not be the best options as children of God but it’s also good to hear them and understand what informed their decisions before we judge.

I have seen business deals gone so sour, irrevocably bad with supposed believers. Why would you wreck or defame a brother in a business he introduced you to or even trained you on? A brother introduced a jobless brother who was suffering and couldn’t take care of his family into his business of repairs and maintenance of heavy machines. He was so open when training him because he wasn’t comfortable with his financial status and was eager to help him come out of it and grow. Took him along to his major clients for works also introduced him to some just to help him kick start on a good footing. All the time he was training him he catered for his basics and paid him allowances and also bought him tools to start. But the same brother went behind to start bidding and collecting  the jobs of the brother that helped him. He would bid lower so they call and use him. When confronted by the brother that trained him and a few people who knew him and how this brother helped him, the lies he told could kill. The same brother who picked him up and dusted him was the one he was tarnishing.

A ‘Big bro’ invited a brother who was believing God for a financial breakthrough in church to a real-estate business. Asked him to help look for buyers for different properties, that when he is paid his percentage he will in turn pay him his own percentage as agreed and this was going to be big money for this struggling brother.  This brother spent the little he hard, went round looking for buyers. Luckily, he got a buyer for one of the properties. After introducing Big bro to the buyer he was sidelined completely. The business went smoothly but Big bro refused to settle him. It was from the buyer he had that the deal had been concluded and everyone in the business had been settled many weeks ago. When he asked for his agreed percentage, Big bro came up with lots of stories, denials and threats that the case had to get to the pastor before he agreed to start paying him in bits. Even at that he still has not finished paying him after one year.  Money if gotten in the lump would have been very useful to this struggling brother and would have kept him ever grateful to a big brother in church.

This one is common with ladies; you go to a sisters shop buy goods on credit (asoebi buyers inclusive). When it is time to pay, it becomes war. One bought clothes and jewelries from a sister’s shop and for over two years refused to pay, every time the sister asked for her money she had a story to tell and even became aggressive some of the times she asked her for her business money. When the sister reported to a few people in church she felt could help her get her money, part of the reasons she gave for not paying was that the sister sold fake things to her. Two years after wearing and stilling wearing them she discovers they are fake. It got so terrible that she even went about telling people terrible stories about the sister’s personal life and how she sells fake products but never told them she owed and that was what soured their relationship.

Or is it the case of brethren who will borrow money and will not want to pay back or when asked to pay, it becomes trouble. You knew you never had the intention to pay why did you go to borrow, why not beg for help and let the brethren help you willfully from their hearts. I once asked a brother his reasons for not paying back money he borrowed from a sister, his reason was that the money is chicken change and she could overlook it. “Why is she making a case out of this small money and reporting me to everybody”. So I became everybody in the case. He ended by telling me he doesn’t think the sister’s hands were clean because since he put that her money into his business, the business stopped growing and the sister is just busy changing cars “as if she has stolen my destiny”.  You see how people slander their fellow brethren? When she lent you her money to help you, her hands where clean, but now she demands for it, they are now dirty hands.

Another one that grieves my heart is this one where brethren use fellow brethren’s sweat for ‘faith leaping’. Instead of walking and working faith they want to leap to the top ‘sharp sharp’ with another man’s hard work. What you know you can’t afford but because it belongs to a brother or sister you dare to claim faith with. You cannot afford to pay for a one room self-contain but because it’s an unsuspecting church member’s house you sugar coat your intent and jump into two bedroom flat and start ‘faithing’ your payments. Practicing faith on another person’s hard earned delayed gratification.   A family rented out a house they had newly completed to a church brother and his family thinking they were dealing with a real brother. This brother was the first tenant in that house. When he came to make his first payment, he transferred half of the money and told stories of some pressing extended family issued that just came up and how he would pay the balance at a later date. For the two years six months he lived in that housed, he never paid his rent completely or as at when due. Whenever the landlord asked for his money he felt he was disturbing him and as a brother he was supposed to understand. He even had the guts to tell the landlord he will pay him when he wants to pay him. Even the devil does not disturb the way he was disturbing him.  Words from a supposed Christian brother who knew right from time that he couldn’t afford the house he was living in.

I have seen Christians owe their landlords but are building their own houses, owing lands and buying cars but their house rent is not important. “Landlords have money”, “she is my sister” “she is my mummy in the Lord” even if she is a widow, “he is my daddy in the Lord” even if he is retired “he understands”, “His my person, I can always pay him later”. House rent becomes what you pay when you have surplus. It’s not a necessity because it's a fellow Christian or your church member’s house. Forgetting that your landlord also have needs he projects to meet with proceeds from his property.  I walked into a flat after a family moved. They had lived there for a little above three years and the house was a complete mess. The plumbing and electrical fittings were vandalized, the kitchen and toilet fittings where destroyed, room and kitchen cabinet damaged, the windows and nets, doors were spoilt; the walls were so dirty that you would think they have lived there for twenty years without maintenance.  Just to be sure the landlord didn’t use inferior materials for his house so I don’t blame the tenant totally, we checked another empty flat with same type of fittings where another tenant that just moved to his own house lived for five years and all he needed was to do minor repairs in that flat. The amount the landlord spent on putting that flat back in shape was over the two years rent they paid out of the three years they lived in the house before packing. They left without informing the landlord because they had no plans to pay. You need to hear this kind of people talk about their landlords when they leave or are leaving. He is a wicked man, his wife is evil, one even gave testimony that since she moved into the house things stopped working for her and her husband but she thank God that they have been liberated and they are moving out. And that was a testimony shared about a house and a landlord they refuse to pay house rent.  Unfortunately many more of these stories keeps happening.

The painful part of these stories is that a lot of times the victims do not get the opportunity to redeem their images and names in the presence of the many people who have heard the wrong or one sided stories about them and are moving with it. A lot of times people don’t come to confirm from the victim the true picture because this supposed brethren can cook a near perfect stories that it looks too true not to believe and would take only a matured heart and a true brother or sister to ask.

2018 is ending, if you are one of these kind of people, making a fool of Christianity or even making the race difficult for fellow brethren by you actions and conducts, please change. You need to resolve to be a changed person in 2019. Resolve and stick to your resolution. This lifestyle does not make you any way better. Pulling other peoples efforts down will not make you grow or stand, you may think you are winning now but truth be told, God cannot be mocked, what you sow you will reap(Galatians 6:7). It is a matter of time. You go about sowing discord you will reap in due cause. Yes he will forgive you, yes she will move on, they will start again or even overlook and love you with the love of God but there is a judgment day. Better you repent and stop disguising as a believer and duping people of their hard earnings.

All Rights Reserved © Stella C. Obokoh 2018






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LENSES

I struggled for too long Being who I wasn’t Fitting  my circle into other people's 
perfect squares -- into all their
expectations for me Their perception was all that mattered What they will see and say Their standard for success and achievement
I showed up acting who I wasn’t Like a dancing monkey under obligations to perform magic To gain their recognition and affirmations for being who I wasn’t Against being Me
I broke the chains and gained freedom the day I stopped looking at myself through other people’s lenses because I discovered people wore lenses tinted and shaded to suit them not Me
All Rights Reserved © Stella C. Obokoh 2019

WHO EXACTLY

Housed in a container Moved in it Identified by its aesthetics But sometimes lost in it Who exactly am I the container or the content
Sometimes I try so hard to figure exactly what it is about this combo Sometimes complicating other times compelling sometimes conflicting other times cooperating
Influenced by the countless conversations with  the inner and the  outer the seen and the unseen the known and the unknown Then I discover It goes beyond this container there is something about content
As adorned as this container maybe embellished with so much beauty the content remains the substance that give it credibility Beyond the container that interacts is the content that keeps the flow is the content that leaves  memorable impacts
All Rights Reserved © Stella C. Obokoh 2018