“Papa, warn Ebere. Warn her, or the next time she even looks at me the wrong way…” Chikodi said, panting and shaking her leg, furious, as she stood before her father.
He looked up from the book he was reading and watched her, not saying a word. When she calmed down, he set his book on the stool beside him and gestured to the seat beside his.
Chikodi strode to the chair and dumped herself on it, frowning still.
Her father noticed the action and raised an eyebrow. “What happened this time?”
“She took my book without permission, but that’s not the problem. I put all the transport money I saved up for today’s trip in there, and she took everything. She didn’t ask and didn’t apologize when I asked her. She was running her mouth like the tap that she is —”
“Chikodi!” Her father said, in a loud and urgent tone.
He remained quiet and, after a while, looked at her with a smile.
“We both know your little sister and what she can do, don’t we? So, I will focus on you. The last time something like this happened, I asked you to come to me. Why didn’t you?”
“She’s always doing things like this, and because she gets away with it, she continues.”
“Ahhh, so there are two trouble makers here, your sister and I?”
Her tone softened, and she looked down, regretting. “No, I didn’t it mean it that way.”
Her father breathed a heavy sigh and shook his head.
“Chikodi, you are not like your sister. She doesn’t have what you have, which enables you to live above some of these things.”
She sat up. “But, Papa…”
“Let me finish.” He said, his tone brooked no argument. “The Christ in you should always come first; anything else is a raging fire ready to consume. Let me paint you a picture of an alternative end to this story. You notice your book is gone, and you find it in her room. You ask for the money and receive an unfavorable response. You are God’s and not your own, and at that point, you step back from the situation and ask for wisdom. That is what being His dwelling place is all about. God has given you all you need to live above and beyond by His grace. Next, you come to me. I pay you back and take the money out of your sister’s pocket funds for the month. The matter ends there. Do you see the difference in both pictures? One ends in a quarrel, and the other in peace.”
“But, Papa, how long should we allow this behavior to go on? For how long should I forgive?” She asked, throwing her hands up in frustration.
“Good, another point raised. What is true forgiveness? Do you think it’s saying ‘I forgive you’ to another while you harbor the pain in your heart and maybe build walls to protect yourself against a next occurrence? No. True forgiveness is forgiving and forgetting wrong, moving forward with no record of it, and starting on a clean slate with the person. Forgive as your Heavenly Father forgives. You do this for as long as you have breath and stand before the throne-room of God.”
“How do I do that?” She asked, looking confused.
“All things are possible to them that believe. Ask God for help with your anger and frustration as you lay each incident at His feet. Draw strength from His love for you. If you remember the incident after the day it occurs, don’t let its memories fester and grow. Banish those thoughts to the waste bin. You’ve dealt with them before God.”
“Papa, you know how she is,” Chikodi said, laying back to rest in the chair, as if in defeat.
“The bible states that Jesus knew the heart of man, did it stop Him from performing miracles to help them, or going to the cross to die for people who chose a thief over Him? Remember that the heart of every man is in the hands of God, and he can turn it any way He likes. Pray for your sister, as I do, and expect a change in her.”
Chikodi nodded and stood. Her actions sudden, as if she remembered something. “Papa, I need the money now. I need to go soon.”
The father nodded and removed his wallet from his shirt. “How much is it?”
“Five thousand Naira, Papa.”
“Here, take this and use the balance for something you like.”
She counted the money and smiled as her eyes lit up. “Thank you, Papa. I’m grateful.”
He smiled. “Go, and don’t be late. Take care on the way.”
“Yes, Papa.” She said as she ran out of the room.
The man stood and walked to the door of the room. “Ebere, Chidiebere!”
“Come here.” He said, walked back to sit, and waited for his errant child.
Till next time, be transformed!!!