Borrowing a life

By Dare Oduwole
“The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous showeth mercy, and giveth.” (Psalms 37:21).

Several years ago, I paid a visit to Seme, a border town some kilometres from Badagry, Lagos state and after gallivanting and sightseeing around the placid town, I proceeded to the beach to view the water body.

Standing in the shade of rows of elegant Coconut trees, I silently watched this awesome handiwork of God called the Atlantic Ocean moving proudly and majestically in response to the currents, and needless to say, it was a most spectacular view of the sights and sounds of not only the ocean but of the living God.

The ocean, so beautiful, yet so frightening because of its tendency to mindlessly swallow adventurous souls without any semblance of remorse. Why was I here alone in spite of fear? Well, water bodies easily stir my soul into the worship and contemplations of the Lord that tend to heighten my ability to isolate the voice of the Lord in my thoughts.

Moreover, the presentation of water bodies can be interestingly flexible variously as Oceans, Seas, Rivers, Streams, Oases, Lakes, Bays, Lagoons, Springs, Ponds, Puddles, Creeks, Estuaries, Confluence, etc.

Whichever water body you have access to, sit down quietly close by and contemplate it and you’ll be surprised what you could hear from the Lord.

Equally fascinating are the physical features of areas with water bodies such as Canyons, Islands, Beaches, Cliffs, Waterfalls, Fountains, Peninsulas, etc, leading the contemplative to declare, ‘No man is an Island’.

This statement of idiom indicates that surviving in isolation is rarely possible for man, corroborative of the Godly position presented in Genesis 2:18. Since God has created us to co-exist symbiotically rather than parasitically, borrowing from one another to meet urgent needs becomes acceptable in his sight and should, therefore, be tolerated by all genuine Christians.

However, borrowing without repaying is considered wickedness in the sight of God as depicted in our Bible text above. Although the descriptive word ‘wickedness’ may be considered alarming or an exaggeration of reality by the borrower, a careful analysis of the mind of the one who would borrow without repaying as at when due will often reveal the wickedness of such a one.

Considering that the lender would often grant the borrower’s request on humanitarian grounds and not necessarily because the lender has more than enough at the time, It is primarily a display of ingratitude to withhold repayment when due especially when it is within the means of the borrower to do so and suffice to say that usually when it is in the power of the borrower to repay as at when due, a heart of wickedness would analyse the various selfish ways to which the borrowed item (especially money) could be applied, and ultimately place the repayment at the bottom of its priority list.

Equally wicked is the attitude of borrowing without an intention of repaying, repaying as at when due, or repaying in a manner that ensures the lender is unable to maximally benefit from repayments. For instance, deciding to conveniently repay a lump sum loan of N20,000 in four instalments may be considered wickedness, depending on the circumstances of the borrower.

Also, conveniently shredding a Landlord’s rent to miserable pieces in the process of payment while using his property can be considered wickedness since the tenant often has a whole year of notification of payment.

The attitude of insisting that, ‘I paid anyway’, when in fact the money was paid in a most unacceptable or wicked manner is sinful and all genuine Christians must desist from these deplorable attitudes that negate an affiliation to Christ.

However, I find it most despicable that one would borrow money to inflict spiritual harm on the benefactor (by borrowing the lender’s life), rather than make only physical use of the money.

This one borrows money from the Christian or an unsuspecting and immediately begins a systematic process of spiritually using this same money to divert the positive life energy of prosperity in the life of the benefactor while replacing this with his negative life energy of poverty thereby sentencing the lender to a life of hardship and poverty while enriching himself at his expense.

What a wicked soul! Interestingly, these types are all around us in our families, offices, Churches, Business places, etc, identifying as Christians thereby taking advantage of the supposedly moron Christian.

But then, are Christians morons? Not at all. Take for example a Hoodoo-adherent customer of mine who craftily owed me N600 after a supposed failed bank transfer and deftly continued to make excuses for non-repayment. Certainly being no Moron, I knew exactly what was happening since the Lord had graciously slipped the truth about the money into my heart.

After several failed attempts to recover my N600, what did yours truly do? Sure, I called the PoPo. The Police was flabbergasted about the N600 story and invited this lady for questioning. Much to everyone’s surprise, flustered and jittery, she immediately called for the husband (Perhaps the partner in spiritual crime), who claimed they never got an alert of transfer.

Well, the PoPo advised them to present a bank statement to this effect since I got an alert, but they coyly avoided towing this path but rather opted to timidly hand over the N600 at the police station. Yes, the money was already serving virtue diversion purposes and even though it was a negligible amount, I had to use the PoPo to retrieve it.

Also recently, I lent a substantial amount of money to a supposed needy neighbour to strengthen his flailing business but to my surprise within a few months of this loan, my neighbour abandoned his business place for a paid job. When the time to repay the loan matured, he began to offer all manner of excuses for non-payment.

After months of futile efforts, once again, I reported the case to the local Police who immediately forced him to make a concrete repayment schedule and also forced him to pay. Believe it or not, within three days of repayment, my neighbour shockingly and voluntarily resigned from his paid job and promptly returned to his business place. Interestingly, while he continued his paid job, I inexplicably abandoned my office to work from home; justifying my ignorant action by citing distance as an excuse.

Amazingly, upon his return to his business place, I suddenly returned to my office to resume work not viewing distance as a tenable problem anymore. These illustrations are indicative of the unscrupulous nature of many Hoodoo adherents and make no mistake about this, there is never a dull moment living as a pure Christian in a Hoodoo-dominated society where a Christian inevitably rows against the tide of Hoodoo values, creating surfs of appalling events in his wake.

It is, therefore, necessary for Christians to avoid unnecessary transactions with anyone claiming to be of Christ but tend to regularly and unremorsefully owe the poor or benevolent, sometimes citing ‘lack of change’ after a transaction.

Be advised that no genuine Christian would comfortably owe anyone, realising that whenever a Christian would owe, the Spirit of God would often create a way of repayment for the believer who must then pay up.

Dare Oduwole is a Nouthetic Christian Counsellor and founder of Godly Counsel Christian Foundation, Abuja. She can be contacted via 08027291632.

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