Pastor Shola Daramola’s blood ran cold as he heard the knock on his office door. Shola knew the knock belonged to no one else and the man behind the door was the last person he wanted to see- not at this time when he felt less than dirt, stained with the guilt of adultery.
“Please come in.” Shola managed to say. Bishop Samson Osamage walked in, shola offered him a seat and he obliged. The silence in the room was thick as Shola arranged his books on the shelf for the umpteenth time. His mentor was seated before him and Shola felt so ashamed, he couldn’t look Bishop Samson in the eye. The Bishop had been Shola’s mentor for over twenty years. Shola had received Jesus through the Zoe Church, Bishop Samson’s ministry when it had less than fifty members. Bishop Samson had received him like his own son, and when Shola resigned as an architect to go into ministry full-time, Bishop had paid every penny of Shola’s tuition at the Bible College he attended.
Suddenly Bishop spoke: “I heard. My heart bleeds Shola. What you have done is shameful. Think about the implications to your family, ministry and most importantly your relationship with God. As a father of some sort to you, this is a difficult pill to swallow for me and all of us at the church. None the less, The Lord does not condemn you and neither do I.” Bishop said. He opened the Bible in front of him speedily to a certain portion and read it: “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.”1
Bishop wasn’t done. “Shola, Have you confessed this sin and sought forgiveness from The Lord?” He asked looking into the younger man’s eye with intent.
“Yes sir. Even before I confessed to my wife and the pastorate.” Shola replied. Bishop Samson nodded approvingly. “Hm….so how do you feel….your heart and all?” He pressed further.
Shola was surprised. No one had asked him how he felt. Other pastors had blasted him, rebuked him and many had called him a disgrace and a disappointment. None had asked how he felt or how his family was taking it. “Even though I’ve asked for forgiveness from God, I still feel dirty. So I ask for mercy again and again. I feel like I have disappointed everyone myself included and God has this big frown on his face every time my name is mentioned, honestly.” Shola replied.
Bishop thought for a minute and said: “Nothing you can do would make God love you more and nothing you have done or would do can make him love you any less. God loves you. The guilt you feel is false, The Blood of Jesus has washed you clean and He paid in full at Calvary for our sin: past, present and future sin…..” Bishop paused a minute to catch his breath, saw what might be tears welling up in his mentee’s eyes and went to stand by him.
Putting an arm across Shola’s shoulders, he continued: “….this is what grace means. We do not earn grace, forgiveness or righteousness. They’ve been offered and it is our responsibility to receive them. It is clear in the scriptures: ‘Those who have RECEIEVED an abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by The One Jesus Christ.’2 It does say in another portion: ‘God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.’3 Shola, you ARE the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, it’s not about what you do, did or what you feel, you are the righteousness of God!”
“But what do I do with all the guilt and disappointment I feel?” asked Shola.
“You tell yourself what God’s word says about you. You are forgiven. Act on it, and rather than leaving your head bowed in shame, you take the forgiveness, grace and righteousness you’ve received to rebuild your family and ministry. It won’t be easy though but if God said it, then we believe it and that settles it.”
Shola had knowledge of everything Bishop had said but only now could he embrace the heart of the matter. “I don’t know what to say Bishop. Thank you, may God bless you.” He said quietly.
“You’re welcome. I hear you’re going to Abuja for a while and I sense this is a guilt trip of some sort. Use it instead to rebuild your family, ministry and get yourself together.” Bishop suggested.
“How?” asked Shola eager to listen to his mentor’s advice.
“I have a friend in Abuja, Thomas who had a similar personal failure very early in ministry. God restored him and today he and his wife have a ministry to counsel Pastors and couples dealing with personal failure in ministry and infidelity in marriage. I could arrange for you to meet with him. Meanwhile my wife would do all she can to convince Funke to join you in Abuja so you guys can deal with this matter quickly and be on the road to recovery before the holidays come round and the children return from school.”
Shola thanked him again and felt blessed to have such a mentor.
“Keep in touch; we’re all here for you. Most of all, remember that I love you but The Lord loves you even more.” Bishop said engaging Shola Daramola in a bear hug.
In thirty minutes, Shola was in a taxi to MMA2 enroute Abuja.
1. Romans 8:1 KJV
2. Romans 5:17 NIV
3. 2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV
©Timothy Konyehi, Life Unscripted Services, November 2011.