Some years ago, I had a young man around me. He was healed by God from a very disgraceful infirmity; a kind that gathers the crowd around him whenever it surfaces. After his healing he started following me to some extent.
It didn’t take time before I observed his passion for soul winning and evangelism. He was moving from house to house preaching the gospel passionately. But as a leader I started noticing that something was off when I saw him returning home from evangelism with fish, tomatoes and other ingredients. According to him, the market women he preaches to were blessing him in return. At this juncture I noticed that something was already wrong with his motive, so I called him aside to encourage him.
At that moment, I was having about five different streams of income, I was also actively into ministry, and I thought him how to deliver one’s self as a minister of God from depending on People before one could eat.
While talking to him I made a statement: “don’t do ministry on empty stomach, I can’t do the same also, and that is why I work tirelessly”
After some weeks, I started facing sharp and destructive criticism from some folks who had concluded that our ministry commencing on their campus was in my attempt to raise offering, while different people were pointing accusing fingers at me, one of them said “He even said he can’t do ministry on empty stomach, I’m sure that’s why he’s here” I was dazed, confused and disappointed, I felt betrayed, and tears rolled down my cheeks. I only said that statement to one fellow in my entire life and it was in my attempt to help him from what he was doing wrong.
According to my custom, I called him to my house, served him food and water then brought up the discussion, I asked him for the reasons why he had done that to me, then he told me he was with them when they were talking about me then he said what he said. Obviously not in my defense.
Few weeks later, something happened, his sickness returned and it happened to him one more time in an open square, and I had to stay with him through the shame, then God spoke and made a major covenant with me.
Here is what I want to bring out, it doesn’t matter how people you truly love tries to bring you down, as much as you refuse to take offense and keep loving them regardless, God who sees and weighs the heart will keep lifting you. Always pause to do the heart check.
People do ask me; Pastor Femi how many lives have you lived, you seem to have so many experiences, well, I still living this one life, but each time I go through, it is easy to do so knowing that it should bring comfort for my brethren who will one day go through the same.
Don’t ever take offenses, run from both offenses and the offender. Run always!