HOME TRUTH (SHORT STORY)

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.

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.

“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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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.”

“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.
-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.
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46 comments

  • Really, this happens in most of our churches today….I just hope they realize that we are serving God and not Man

  • hypocrisy+tight-fistedness….not good for d growth of the church

  • hmmm. short and simple. message passed across

    • Agnes

      Rosemary my best friend will never stop correcting me when I did something wrong. And l have also learnt a lot from her! Its five years now since we knew i feel blessed. A good friend is indispensable indeed!

  • blessed is the hand that giveth than the one that taketh

  • Udeh Favour

    this is a replica of what happens in the church today

  • ODEKE CHIDUBEM CAMILUS

    Nice piece of story!

  • Oweka Chioma Sandra

    Offerings are meant to be given wholeheartedly

  • Mokogwu Josephine

    nice story

  • nwosu esther chioma

    nice

  • ifebe june sobechukwu

    thats it…hand of God#lol

  • chika divine umunnakwe

    people should be willing to tell the truth in love. Akachi did well to visit the deacon and effected him the deacon in turn told Akachi of his weakness and Akachi himself was touched by his words and thought of change

  • Attih Faith Etim

    Really a replica of what happens in our churches today. Inspiring and educating, lots of lessons to be learnt.

  • ogugua

    Encouraging one from u…..

  • nwafor chukwudalu franklin

    many people today give offerings not to God but to be acknowledged by their fellow members as a rich and prospering person, while others like akachi still have a problem with giving generously in church. due to the fact that you give generously in church does not give you an edge over every other members rather you are meant to be a good representative of your church.

  • Ezeme Evans Ejike

    I have friends who constantly tell me the truth anytime am wrong or misbehaving. Allwell’s problem is on his Ego, obviously, he was giving all them offerings not to God but to impress men which God frowns at. Your writings are truly inpirational

  • MOKOGWU JOSEPHINE

    Well, God knows your pocket, if you have you give, be generous and its not all about receiving but giving too, anyway, Allwell told Akachi the truth

  • Odeke Chidubem Camilus

    This are things that are gradually taking over the Holy Church. People give just to be praised by men, forgeting what God said about giving. The reward is in heaven

  • Ugwuoke Kenneth Ekene

    That is what to expect when you give with the heart or the intentions to be praised or noticed. You become proud and will want to be respected by everyone. This is gradually becoming the norm in our churches this days. Men dont give for God no more, they give to be noticed and praised.

  • Ugwu Chiamaka Peace

    Nice one ma’am.This is a true reflection of what is happening in churches today especially on Allwell’s part. Most people think that Christianity or one’s relationship with God is based on the position they hold in the church and they expect to be respected as such. Yes, the bible said give bountifully,but the bible also recorded that giving wholeheartedly, even the least would yield more fruit.
    It is the service we render in the church that matters. I think if Allwell needed to be respected in the church ,he needed to be humble while working for God.
    How can a Grade Level 14 worker pay not less than a hundred naira for his offering. Ten percent of his income should be given to the church as his tithe. It is wonderful that he began to reconsider at the end.
    Nice one ma. I believe this writeup will change the minds of the likes of Allwell and Akachi

  • Egbo Rita Somtochukwu

    When contributing to the church we shouldnt expect any form of reward or recognition. Our reward is in heaven and would be granted by God.

  • Oleighibe Oluebube Tessy

    oh, I’m Akachi o, I don’t care who you are, your achievements or how deep I’ll cut you, once it comes to advice.
    once I feel you are not levelling up as my friend, I’ll bring your attention to it and that is why I don’t get angry if someone try to correct or point out my wrongs.
    kudos to Allwell because not everyone will tolerate Akachi.

  • Okemiri Ifunanya Diana

    Giving is no something we should do and expect something it’s a free give away you give to God not to human.

  • Anazodo Helen

    What akachi told allwell is the truth, if we want to give to God we should give with our heart and not because we want to achieve something from it. Such friend are wise to keep, it’s hard to find such.

  • We should note that anything we do in church either in giving or any section we are in church we are doing for man but for God because man can only praise you and that is your reward .but do with all your mind because God who sees in the secret will reward openly and abundantly and this is benevolent than man’s gift. I

  • Oshana Oyaku Endurance

    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.

  • Chukwu Oluebube juliet

    This is exactly what we face in churches today.I just hope that one day we will realize what we are doing all in the name of God not knowing is man

  • Chinedu stanley

    2 Corinthians 9:8 says “each of you should give as you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or of necessity for God loves a cheerful giver. Allwell was giving large amounts of offering to be noticed or praised in church and that is not proper

  • Emmanuel chibuike

    Nice one! This is a lesson to all Christians. We end up playing politics in the church instead of worshipping God. We end up contributing to the growing of the building instead of the Church of Christ. Some offer help to people in open places just for people to see and applaud them, just like Allwell, forgetting that the Lord watches the hearts of all men. Giving is a proof that one has conquered greed, but in most cases we give with wrong motives. It is the duty of a Christian brother to call his fellow back whenever he follows the wrong track. Akachi is a symbolic character in respect to that.

  • This story is interesting, it is clear that we should not give arms to be praised by mortals but let the one who see in the secret reward us. I must commend Akachi is the best friend Allwell ever had because he told him the truth and there is difference in giving arms or offering, I must commend him for imparting some knowledge in his friend.

  • Nwannah Juliana ngozi

    When we give to the church or society we should not expect praises or recognition from any body that is not the lord.we should give from the goodness of our hearts.God blessed those who sow show in serect .

  • Agbodike Ogochukwu Maryclaret

    Quite ironic how we give so much yet, never give at all. It’s the motive that matters, not the content. This is a simple lesson on charity

  • John Adaobi Benedicta

    Surely, pride brings a fall. We should not feel too big as not to heed to correction. Also, offering to the Lord should be from the heart and not to gain respect and high positions.
    Thumbs up MA! !

  • Nwosu Victoria

    firstly, it is important to note that paying large seeds and offerings in church is not a guarantee to heaven and also not a way to seek cheap popularity and respect. once a person starts to expect to receive honor because of how much he believes he has invested in a church, pride sets in and God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble Again, one should give from the HEART. it is not the amount that matters but the heart. it is the heart that is responsible for one giving according to what he earns or what he has. once you know that you can actually afford to give more than a certain amount and still choose to give below that, that is greed and is no longer from the heart. kudos to you ma, for this piece.

  • Kooyon Abigail A

    I learned that you can’t deceive God.
    It’s obvious that Allwell was trying to fool God. Still on that, I want to point out the fact that; whatsoever we are doing as regard to our faith shouldn’t be channeled to anybody but God. We are responsible for what ever that happens to our lives and faith. And aside that church members should learn how to care for its members. A body is worthy to be called a church because of how it functions. And as for people like Akachi it’s best to improve shall but make sure it’s from your heart. Don’t do because others are doing, do because you are motivated to.
    Good friends are always outstanding…

  • Joseph Chizoba Kingsley

    This story captures what’s happening in churches today. The lesson to be learnt from this story is that our offering, tith; or any work we do in church should be done for God and not to receive respect from men. This is because when we give for the motive to be be praised by men we may not receive reward from God.

  • Otung Theresa

    Yes, some of my words to my friend can be said to be ‘Home Truth’ though I don’t correct her in public, prefer doing the scolding in private.. Lol, but how would someone motive for giving in church be this way, but funny enough that’s what we see… I sha loved how Akachi after driving home his point States back to eat so typical of a friend. I hope Allwell learns his lesson and changes his mindset biko.
    Thanks Ma’am for sharing

  • Nwoye chiamaka favour

    Truly he gave to the church not God. Many of us are guilty of this. I pray God helps us to give to Him whole heartedly . Also let us see the importance of good friendship. The truth is always said to one another.

  • Igbokwe Rita Chinecherem

    It is always good to open up to people about your problems. Never look down on anybody, for you never know where a solution might come from. Had it been that Allwell never opened up to his friend Akachi, he would still be building up anger for his church member instead of letting go. Indeed a problem shared is a problem have solved. nice one ma!

  • Ezeh Onyekachukwu c

    This is simply the truth. Allwell wanted a full respect to be accorded to him for his giving in Church. That means He is not giving God but the pastor’s family. And besides he suppose to swallow his pride. A true Christian should not allow pride to take control of him.

  • Eze vivian Nkiruka

    Its good to have a friend like Akachi,who is not scared of telling u the truth. Most people give or do good things with the intention to receive same favour or prefretial treatment.

  • Ebere

    This is exactly what is happening in our churches this days, giving to impress the pastor and the congregation. But the problem too is that the pastor’s also help in encouraging them ,because after they have finish giving the offering the pastor’s will now make them the opinion leader’s in the church. So the people that don’t now have money should go and die. Which is very bad.

  • Okoloji kosisochukwu vivian

    Giving millions in church doesn’t make u a child of God rather ur main purpose of given is what will decide. Some in church give to be recognized while some give to sponsor God’s work.

  • Omaga Chiagozie

    We should learn how to give especially in the church. When we give in the church, we are giving to God not the pastor or the priest. This mentality that we are making the pastor rich is not true rather we should give to God because God loves a cheerful giver.

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