HOME TRUTH    (A SHORT STORY)

“He had taken offence after an argument with a junior deacon during the workers’ meeting a fortnight ago and had stayed away from church hoping the pastor will contact him to apologise for not calling the younger man to order when he challenged him.”

Intro:
This is a hilarious but instructive tale of ego, church politics and friendship. Read, give your impressions and kindly share on various fora for the benefit of others. You are blessed!

The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense. - Prov. 27:9 (NLT) Click To Tweet

HOME TRUTH
Allwell dived for his phone as it began to ring. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the call he was expecting. Rather, it was a programmed promotional message from the service provider.

“Lijue nsi onu!” (Eat a mouthful of sh#t!), he barked, as though the speaker could hear him and threw the phone on the sofa. Anxiety was wearing him out because his self-imposed exile from church didn’t seem to be having the anticipated effect.

He had taken offence after an argument with a junior deacon during the workers’ meeting a fortnight ago and had stayed away from church hoping the pastor will contact him to apologise for not calling the younger man to order when he challenged him. As time passed and the pastor didn’t call, he decided that he would make do with a conciliatory gesture from any senior member of the board of deacons. But if anyone had noticed his absence, they were yet to show it.

God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. - 1 Peter 5:5 (KJV) Click To Tweet

Another ringing of the phone startled him but he chose to ignore it rather than break the device, which is what he knew he would do if he was accosted with another pre-recorded hogwash from the telecom company. As he was walking into the bedroom, he heard a pounding on the front door. It transpired that a brother from the church, Akachi, was there to see him. He would have said, “About time!” but Akachi didn’t count. He was just an ordinary member without a title.

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“I was about to leave after knocking twice and calling your line without a response.”

“Sorry, my brother, you are welcome. How was service today?”

“Service was great but I was worried I’ve not seen you for a while. I hope you are ok,” the conversation continued as they sat down in the living room.

“Couldn’t be better!”

But who was he kidding? Akachi was a close friend, so he came out with it and the bitterness that had been piling up seeped through. He sowed the highest seeds, paid the fattest tithe and personally supported the pastor’s family; yet he and the older deacons sat by and watched an upstart have a face-off with him.

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(Related: Wnen Giving Advice Gets Tricky)
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Akachi started his response by complimenting him on his financial contributions to the church and disclosed that he had a confession to make in that regard.

“Personally, I’ve never been much of a giver. It will surprise you to hear that my offering in church has never exceeded 100 Naira.”

“I don’t believe you. A Grade Level 14 officer!” But Akachi nodded his insistence. “My brother, you have a problem!” Allwell exclaimed.

“Yes, and so do you! I have a problem with giving generously but your problem is your motivation for giving. It appears you’ve not been giving to God but to the church to ingratiate yourself with the leadership and gain control. My friend, you have the heart of a politician, not that of a worshipper.”

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(Related: A Mind of Her Own – II)
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“Akachi, I’m a deacon of fifteen years’ standing. I can’t have you lecturing me on how to worship my God.”

“This is not a lecture but a home truth from one friend to another. And before you get angry and try to kick me out, know that my lunch and dinner will be here today. My wife and children went to the village to see her parents.”

“But come oh, is it not ironic that you can be so tight-fisted when your name means hand of God?”

“Na you sabi,” Akachi threw back as he headed to the backyard from where the aroma of the jollof rice Allwell’s wife was cooking was wafting. But deep inside he acknowledged that Allwell had a point and resolved that he would double his offering for a start.

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-The end-
Ⓒ Edith Ugochi Ohaja 2016

*******

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I am a university lecturer. I teach Mass Communication, mostly writing courses like Feature and Interpretative Writing, Magazine Article Writing and News Writing, and let’s just say I’ve been doing this for a long time. As you have probably guessed, I am a born-again Christian.

118 thoughts on “HOME TRUTH (A SHORT STORY)

  1. Birds of a feather…they are both political in giving whether it’s to retain a position or Bcos of someone’s stingy n biased nature…they both need deliverance…

  2. Who is then a Christian, if we still have them in the church? May God deliver us. Amen.. Thanks

  3. God can actually talk to us through the least people we expect, but we should endeavour to always give listening ears to people, especially when we know we are guilty of a particular fact been addressed

  4. God can actually talk to us through the least people we expect, but we should endeavour to always give listening ears to people, especially when we know we are guilty of a particular fact been addressed

  5. blessed indeed is the hand that giveth… but is it blessed when we give to obtain honours from people around? I must confess, I love Akachi’s style: we have to give that which our hearts accepts and not give in complaints

  6. ma
    your stories are nourishing and it always teaches a lesson
    continue the good work…………..EDITHOHAJA.COM

  7. it is really the problem we are having today in our denominations as some persons have made themselves the almighty dictators of the church as a result of their contributions to the church and the seed envelopes to the pastors whom a times keep their mouth shut when they ought to speak against the evil of this men in the church. I pray God will help us. that’s a nice one mum. keep doing the greatest work INVESTING IN HUMANITY.

  8. Interesting,people in the church believe that the more you give,the better your chances of being a leader in the church…i have seen this in Nsukka

  9. He’s not even the only one trapped in such politician mentality. They’re like sand in the church. But I think the best thing to do is to labour as unto God, not man.

  10. A very good and educating piece , give to God as he gives you and more will be added unto you . Pride is the easiest downfall of any man

  11. An interesting story and very educative to all. I pray that God will always help us to do what is right all the time.

  12. Lool…this is hilarious…if akachi was giving those petty amounts from his heart…then i think his case is different from allwell’s…..nice piece as always ma

  13. pride is very dangerous and is unfortunate that some people are not aware while some people enjoy pride as a leader even in the house of God. Akachi did well to visit and correct his member of his wrong attitude,people should learn to say the truth in love. the deacon also told Akachi of his weakness which Akachi himself acknowledged and thought of change.

  14. that is the problem we have with people and religion. pride and ego are really killing people. they donate in church just to be praised for their generosity. pls let’s all do things for God and not for our pastor or the praise people will give us. Thank u ma, u always say the truth. I love u so much.

    • The Bible says that the heart of man is deceitful and desperately wicked. Our motives for doings are often impure. We need to constantly ask God to cleanse our hearts and help us to think holy thoughts like Him.

  15. Am not surprised by allwell’s character, some people feel without them there will be no church or no one to worship God, I think it is high time we change our mindset and serve God right and for those who will chose five naira from a purse that contains a hundred naira to give God not because we don’t have but because we feel it is too big, he is watching us o, remember u shall reap whatever you sow

  16. MR ALLWELL the protagonist of the story is a believer who is fulfilling the scriptures in the book of Mark that says “it is difficult for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God”. He knows the truth but pride will not let him please God. Akachi is a sensitive Christian, he took correction from the insult Mr Allwell threw him instead of getting angry. It’s really a wonderful story.

  17. This is great. There are a lot of people in church today like Allwell who like their own opinion to be considered.people, who don’t accept their mistakes even when they know that they are wrong.

  18. If God should give back the way we are giving to him…..hmmmm man no go survive ooo. Thank God for the passage that said if God should mark our guilt, who will stand…..I tank u ma for these words of encouragement.

  19. True story ma so many Christians are turning into politicians in church .and it’s appalling .this is a nice piece ma

  20. Now that is to say that many don’t know the reason for being in church. Thats the kind of thing we see in our churches today. It was indeed a wonderful story full of lessons, nice work u did there ma.God bless you

  21. Akachi made the truth open for all to see, Allwell has been giving for the other deacons to notice him and not because he wanted to give, if not he wouldn’t be talking ant how much he gives to the church.. Assuming he kept it to him self and still went to church service after the exchange of worship with a junior officer in church. It would be open that he goes to church to worship God and not to be noticed by the rest of the deacons

  22. Akachi did the right thing by dropping over at Allwell’s house to tell him the truth as it is; many people in churches today donate effortlessly to their own glory and not of God. Politics is in church same way it is in the world; I’ve been in a position of criticism over a mare church dance group and till today that group have closed up, because of the bad vices of people. Truth be told impress nobody but your God in heaven and not man; even with the little you have. Yes, they will say you’re greedy and a miser, judgement is for God alone and not man, your reward is at the end, in heaven.
    This is indeed an inspiring piece. Yes truly there are friends who care & they say things as it is without twisting it. I haven’t had much of friends but truly I can tell when I see one. Thanks aunty Edith.

  23. Allwell’s position and motive/reason for donation in church are seen in the world of today, people who donate for their own appraisal, to be noticed by the pastor, clergy men & the congregation. And if in anyway the pastor or any member talks or corrects them they feel insulted forgetting that everybody in church has equal rights and no one has immunity over others “in the presence of God their is liberty”. Akachi did well by stopping by at Allwell’s house to mediate neutrally over the issue & not to side for anybody because of friendship or to obtain favour from his friend. Thank you ma for this inspiring piece.

  24. i don’t really know if some people still understand the real meaning of giving. there are people who give in the church just for people to know that they have given and they will be hailed. WAW O! he is a good giver. indeed we still have people like that and if you have and don’t give its better to start learning how to give. Another thing, as a person inspite our position we should not let our Ego over ride our sense of reasoning and doing things.

  25. This is what happens when our top pastors and bishops have turned the church into recognition of the highest bidder. Every Sunday, money talks echoing all in the name of public launching and giving too much attention to those that give big money thereby avoiding those that really gave the little they had from their heart. Personally, am not against giving God, I’m a believer in God loves a cheerful giver but am against the measures or ways in which today’s church do it. I feel like this public church launching has deceived many into thinking they have become a god. Because they gave so and so amount to the church and have become popular for that, so, therefore, they have a say and things should be done exactly the way they said. Allwell should not be the only one judged but the church should, this is because they contributed to Allwells Ego. The church needs to take back its rightful position of God been the foundation of decision-making and not the highest bidder.

  26. I must commend Akachi for his boldness, for the courage to speak up to Alwell without fearing whatever thing that comes up. A lot of people in our church today is just like Alwell who gives and waits for something even bigger than what he gave out and that is not ‘true christianity’ neither does it imply ‘cheerful giving’. Nice one ma!

  27. Frankly, we still hear and see things like this in the church today. Which is quite unfortunate; people who feel above others or of higher rank because of the amount they give as offering, tithe or seed and even sometimes because of the status or post they hold in church. These people often get lost and forget that the true owner of it all is God. Nice one ma! Very eye-opening….

  28. This is exactly what we see in churches and in people that call themselves Christian. ..God Sees the heart ,so be mindful of what you do and think

  29. Before giving let’s have a positive mindset towards giving if not we receive no reward. It’s so unfortunate that this is what we see in today’s churches. Akachi is a true friend of Allwell, cos he never supported his actions.

  30. This is exactly what is happening in today’s churches. people are now giving money not that they want to give God but because they want the church congregation to recognize and respect them in the church. thank God Akachi told Allwell the truth and at the same time, Allwell told Akachio the truth.

  31. this story is very interesting ,it reminds me of my aunty advise at home.i was a type that goes to church late,if the church service is by 6am i would go by 7am or some times more than that but with her advice just like the way Akachi gave her friend advise, i changed…..
    Ride on mma the story is life touching…..

  32. Seriously most churches nowadays are guilty, you see people trying to show off, during harvest people are competing with each other to be the highest bider and then the church will now recognize them, they should recognize all of now, if they have started calling names of those that paid

  33. Giving is something we should do willingly and it should come from our hearts.such attracts God’s blessing but,when you are giving so that other people can see,you are just wasting your time.God loves a cheerful giver…

  34. Oh dear. Our personality trying to override the mission of Christ could be dangerous. It’s arrogance and pride.
    However, let’s give for the sake of God’s love and nothing more.

  35. Yes actually I have one or two friends who most times tell me the bitter truth. And honestly, it has helped me a great deal and fashioned me into becoming a better person.

  36. Truth be told, ones motivation for giving shouldn’t be to receive a kind of acknowledgement or earthly reward and one should also learn to be generous when giving. Remember, God loves a cheerful giver, do not give to be seen or give grudgingly, give with love and God will bless you.

  37. Some people give offerings and sowing of seeds today in churches for show of affluence and not for the benefit that comes from God but for the mere praises that come from men. Also this mindset that we have about using our offering to enrich men of God rather than for the expansion of God’s kingdom should be changed. The Bible clearly states that he that does bountifully shall reap bountifully and he that sow sparingly also shall reap sparingly. Also we shouldn’t take because of our social class and be arrogant towards the house of God.

  38. Yes… I do have a friend who doesn’t give a damn talking to me about my flaws. He can go ahead to tell me to hate him or seize being his friend after that. This nature of his has actually rubbed off on me cos I can now do the same even to him and others. Akachi knew his flaws and that of his friend, Allwell, he didn’t classify himself as better, rather went ahead to tell how bad those actions were. Giving is living and understanding this concept brings a person to relating well with both God and fellow humans… Educating piece MA.

  39. blessed indeed is the hand that giveth… but is it blessed when we give to obtain honours from people around? I must confess, I love Akachi’s style: we have to give that which our hearts accepts and not give in complaints

  40. Funny and educating story…
    Nowadays some Christians believe that the more you give the better your chances of being a leader in the church. I wonder what our churches are turning into. God save us.

  41. This story portrays what happens in church. Why not give you most fattening offering to God?. We steal God without knowing, by not paying our tithes and bountiful offerings. We bear grudges against our fellow worker in the church. We should learn to desist from all these bad attitude to avoid the wrath of God. I love this story ma!

  42. Like the saying goes “the Lord loveth a cheerful giver” give to God without a personal motive, and God who is God will see your heart and bless you accordingly. Just like Allwell, some people believe that in their various churches cause they give the most in every contribution or donation they should be appraise even if they are wrong.

  43. There is a saying that goes “a friend that says, i told you so, is a friend y to adhere to what they say.that must be kept, but a friend that keeps say saying , i would have told you should be kept far away”. Many of us have people like Akachi in our lives, those that tell us the truth no matter how hard it is, we should try to adhere to what they say.

  44. Funny! Well thank God Allwell has a friend like Akachi and vice versa. So that, when Akachi heals him of his poli-religious pride, Allwell will heal him of stinginess.

  45. Interesting! Sad how we claim to be Christians but still do things of the world in church even without knowing. We should pay much more attention to our lives as believers.

  46. Accepting that you’re not perfect while advising someone is a very wise way of dealing with an issue. Also, accepting our fault is the first step towards change.

  47. Sometimes I get amazed at what people would do to get power and control. I get amazed at what supposed pastors and other big Christians do. One is supposed to give not only to the church but to one another not with the hope of getting it back but with a true and generous heart
    What Allwell was trying to do was bribe God and the other church officials. Its always good to do good but if one does it expecting an earthly reward then the goal of that good deed is defeated. Allwell did a very good thing by giving generously to the church but his intentions were poor and at the end of the day, it is our intentions that count the most not the actual deed.

  48. Allwells deed were awesome but his intentions were so bad. And also when we have fights with people, we should not wait for them to apologise, we could be the big person and do it especially when we are supposed to be leaders of the church. It shows a good example to the followers and it also makes people respect u more

  49. Allwell and Akachi are just the same but Akachi is really worth a friend. I have a friend that is like Akachi, though at that moment the feeling is painful but what the friend is saying is a bitter truth and later I will realize that everything said to me counts. It has influenced me in the sense that if I have a problem, I go to that friend.

  50. Men …. Most times we tend to serve God or give in church gathering because of the appraisal we will get. But we forget that our gift is unto God not man. Thanks ma for the reminder

  51. It a very nice story. Some people do things in the church not to please God but to please man. Some give money to the church to show how wealthy they are. The Bible say when you give don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is giving; ie do not make your offering publicity. When you do so you are receiving your reward on earth. To me what ever we are doing should be for the glorification of God.

  52. Yeah I remember when I was staying with my friends family house, this girl including one of her friends were never serious about their academy works and I was looking for way of telling them the truth about this, but I was afraid that the may ask me to leave their house. But it came to a point I couldn’t keep silence again, I just had to tell them that true. I said to them even though I am their friend, that I needed to be that good friend to them by telling them the truth, although they were bitter towards it, later they yeilded to the advice and on picking their screening result, they scored higher than their pass exam which they were not serious. And they were happy at the end of the day. it is very necessary to tell our friends the truth irrespective of their relationship with , even though they are the one that are feeding us, if not one day we shall be blamed for downfall, because before God brings us close to someone there must be a purpose for that.

    Grateful mma, more grace on this.

  53. Most at times, telling the truth is difficult but we shouldn’t stop calling our friends to order when they go astray, it shows our genuine love. Truth is life.

  54. Many people still behave like this. Giving to make sure they are noticed and praised. Also listening to advice from someone younger than you is not a bad thing some people believe they have reached a point where no one can correct their mistakes anymore. My aunt is like that, she takes too much of carbonated drinks and oily foods and she’s not young anymore. Whenever I tell her that diabetes is real and that she’s obese she’d tell me I think I’m a doctor because of the internet and university and that I should not lecture her that I don’t know anything I’d just laugh to myself ??

  55. Only good friend will tell you the truth or give am honest criticism about a behaviour or lifestyle. I normally find it annoying when I am criticised, mostly when I feel my actions can be justified. Notwithstanding, whenever my friend tells me a home truth in love, I definitely will make amends

  56. When one gives with the intention of being noticed or applauded, it usually gives rise to anger and pride if the expected “praise” is not given. The best form of giving, is, the secret giving, with no expectations. When we do this, Heaven’s reward is weightier and the Earth’s applause is deafening.

  57. Isn’t better we don’t give than giving to be applauded or noticed. Such giving doesn’t come from the heart and I don’t think it attracts blessings from heaven.

  58. Yes, I have a beautiful friend who tells me my flaws and at the same time encourages me to improve and to desist from that attitude which might end up destroying me. As for the case of pride, I feel it’s in everyone but it depends on the level at which it is in us.

  59. It’s so painful to still realise that churches are getting worse on daily occasions. Left for me the issue of donations should be removed from the church. Yeah if you truly want to give you can do that privately . Just so disappointed. This message showed be spread across many souls. Thank you Ma

  60. Allwell is too petty. He intentionally embarked on sabbatical leave and expected the whole church to come lick his feet. Unfortunately, no one is indispensable in the church…….

    Meanwhile, I have a cousin who tells me as it is without having to sugarcoat words. Her words could pierce your heart but deep down, you know she’s not far from the truth. You might even feel she’s saying those things out of hatred or bitterness but trust me, it’s from a place of love.

    I think we all need such kind of people in our lives. Not people who always tell us what we want to hear.

  61. Churches are more corrupt than any other institutions itself. people don’t give because they are thankful to God but rather to be known and applauded. They try to make themselves extremely popular so that it seems like the church relies on them for it’s provisions and without them nothing can happen. Our prayer is that all of these changes so that our world can become a better place

  62. Awesome. I like people like Akachi who tell you the truth outrightly. Thankfully, I have close friends who talk to me about my flaws and mistakes and also waste no time to encourage or commend me. We all need people like that in our lives.

  63. Church system isn’t what we expect. Heart of man is selfish
    Technically what his friend told him is the actual truth.

  64. This story is exactly what is happening in church. Some people give little to the church even though they earn much,forgetting that you can’t cheat God. Others form politicians in church with pride because of the money they give to the church. But Christianity entails more than all these. This story is didactic. I learnt alot from it.

  65. Another wonderful story. These deals with pride generosity and giving advice. Though, Akachi and allwell has fault but the way they spoke or the advice they gave themselves is important. Do not use money to gain followers in church and do not be to stingy in giving money to church. Give what you have to help does in need.

  66. Some people don’t know that whatever they do especially in the church, they do it to or for themselves, whether good or bad. Some call themselves and see themselves as the pillar simply because the support the church in one way or the other. But fail to understand that no one is indispensable in the house of God and that is exactly why Allwell’s absence was not even noticed in the church.

  67. Some people see themselves as the pillar of the church simply because the support the church in one way or the other. They forget that the church is the house of God and that no one is indispensable in the house of God. That’s why Allwell’s absence was not even noticed in the church.

  68. Truthfully, most givers in the church give for human exaltation, recogification, personal identification and worship.

    Most persons give because others are giving not because they divinely inspired nor because they know who they are giving to (God).

    Alwell’s kind of giving could be linked to the above styles of giving because his concentrate is on church’s recognition. But giving to God should be spiritually inspired not carnally minded.

    It’s a big lesson I have learnt.

  69. The both of them just gave themselves wonderful counsels that would change their mentality. Especially Senior deacon Allwell he needs to take off the political mentality so he can serve God well.

  70. I think being honest and truthful with me is better than not even saying it at all. I may get angry but at the end of the day, I know my flaws and I know how to correct them and not repeat them again. I’m more like Akachi, I would rather tell you the honest truth than not and let you keep on making the mistake. What Akachi told him was true, he was never really giving to God, cause he was giving the money to gain recognition in the church, he wanted something in return and that’s not how you give wholeheartedly. You give, because you want to give and not because you have to give or you feel obligated to give.

  71. This story really has a lot to learn from it. We shouldn’t just give because of manly praise but give wholeheartedly to God.

  72. God is not a man,He can actually speak to us through the least people we expect, but we should also endeavour to always give listening ears to people, especially when we know we are guilty of some issues that are pointed out.

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