My Struggle with Offences among Brethren
I thank God for how He delivered me from offences and the fear of man. I noticed that I have a very sensitive nature. It is good in a way, because it makes me extra sensitive to the things of God in the spirit realm. However, it is also bad in a way, because I usually find it hard to forgive people. I could easily bear grudges against a person and not tell the person about it. Even when I decided to open up, I would tell the person my grudges in such a way that he/she would end up getting embarrassed! I know the Bible says in Matthew 18 that if anyone has issues with a person, they should go and meet the person alone and sort things out. However, I would end up shouting at the person in public!
Sometimes, I would decide to forgive the person in my heart without going to meet him or her, but this was not any better, because whenever I chose to forgive, I would still go on thinking about what the person had done to me. In fact, I would go on analyzing the situation over and over again in my mind. It would be as if I had not forgiven at all! This made me have the fear of being hurt. I would not speak up, not necessarily because I could not forgive, but because I always did not want to be hurt. So, I stayed away.
Sometimes, I would feel like leaving the church each time I got offended by any of my brethren. It was funny how I never got offended by unbelievers, no matter what they did. Yet, I would pick offense with my brethren, especially the leaders. I had started walking with God for a long time before then, so, I would feel offended with people, especially when I considered how I had started this journey before them. It got to a point where I would usually presume the offences before they happen. So, sometimes, I would be angry with someone even before they did anything to me! This usually made me depressed and moody. I thought it was a part of me. I kept asking for God’s help because I thought I would one day flare at the leaders and end up leaving the church with a curse. However, what kept me going was the fact that I knew people were looking up to me, and I would make them stumble if I acted that way.
God started working on me! He led me to the Scriptures (2 Peter 3:9-10). He pointed out that nobody was perfect, and that He is working on us all. Everyone is working out their own salvation, so I had to be patient. Knowing that God loves me took my focus off people, and made me concentrate on Him and the plans He has for me. At some point, I was encouraged when Pastor shared about how he used to be too sensitive, until God told him that he had to be tougher.
On the 28th of May, 2018, during the retreat, I had a dream where I saw myself piercing spears into people. A man was pointing out people for me to kill. When I got to the last person, I got so irritated at myself. Then I dropped the spear. I could not imagine what I had just done! It was as if I had a reason for killing the people, and I did it so casually. I had to go to a tank around and wash the blood off my hands. I know I could easily kill a rat or cockroach, but I could not understand how I could kill a human being! I kept asking God for what the dream could mean. He led me to a Scripture in Psalms, that talks about having blood on our hands. I started to ask for mercy….
One day, during the PIT (Prophetic Intercessory Team) meeting, a thought crossed my mind. I thought about writing a letter to Pastor, asking him to relieve me of my duties in PIT and the cleaning department. Almost immediately, people started sharing the words they had gotten about offences among the brethren. I realized that, it was at the point I was about to quit, that God addressed the issue of offences against brethren in my life. I then remembered the dream I had and I thought “oh, so I’m the scapegoat for offences”. That Scripture that says, “a man’s enemies are those within his household”, came alive to me and I got to understand it better.
While asking God what the dream could possibly mean, He reminded me of when I had been accused of being a witch on four occasions when I was younger. This was what opened up the door to my picking up offences easily. My younger brother was the one involved in such witchcraft and since I was the one closest to him, I was accused too. My father did not believe I was innocent. He called a prophet to do deliverance for my brother and I. This cost him about 200 thousand naira. I was given a concoction to drink. The idea was that it would make us vomit whatever we had been given in our “witch meetings”. I could not believe that, I could be accused of being a witch. The general knowledge was that witches used to fly at night so they don’t sleep at night. They also did not do well in their academics. I had to point out to my dad that, I usually slept well at night. Also, I was always taking the first position in my class. Despite all the effort at debunking the accusation, he did not believe me. I noticed that the hand of God was upon me right from my young age. I could walk up to people smoking and tell them to repent and stop smoking. Once, I told a lady who usually sent me on an errand to buy alcohol that I would not be involved anymore so that I would not be tempted to fall into it.
On the second occasion I was being accused of being a witch, food was shared to some children around my area including my brother. I begged my brother to share his with me but he refused and I watched him eat everything. I could not believe he could be that hard hearted. I never knew that it was God’s way of stopping me from being initiated. Then one day, my brother told me about the things they did at night. How they would enter into peoples’ houses to attack them, but they could not come into our house because of me. They said that, I was the light in the house. My brother said that, they had come to attack me on one occasion, but they could not enter the house because there was this light that chased them away. I begged him to tell my parents this so they would stop thinking I am a witch, but my dad would not believe any word because of what the prophet had told them.
As a result of this, I disliked elderly people. I felt they could lie a lot. And the ones in my family were always causing a rift between me and my dad. They would always lie against me. When I got admission into university to study law, as a means of defense, I started speaking to them disrespectfully. However, God started working on me. I had to go back to apologize to the elderly people about the way I spoke to them. I’m so thankful to God for the humbling me and enabling me change my ways. I hope to keep growing till I become more and more like Jesus. Amen.