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  • Henry Omotayo

The Irony of Life

Matthew 18:21-35

Message No. 0608 | Twitter @GodandUs |

Few weeks ago, I gave the (true-life) story of a senior management staff who made up his mind to terrorize a lady manager at work. The lady managed a branch of the bank and reported to this management staff at the head office. It did not matter how well the lady performed, the man would berate her, making her life very miserable. Then, the position of an executive director became vacant and while we were eager to know which of the senior management staff would be appointed or whether someone from outside of the bank would be brought in to fill the position, we woke up one day and heard that the lady branch manager was appointed to the post. The man terror now reported to her. He resigned in shame.

‘Irony of life’ is a term people use when they see the opposite of what is expected happen. There’s a popular local adage which says the guy who has a head does not have a cap to put on it, but the guy who has a cap does not have a head. Similarly, the guy who has plenty of money to buy all the shoes in the world does not have legs to wear them, whereas the guy who has two functional legs does not have enough money to feed, let alone buy a pair of slippers.

In Matthew chapter 18, Jesus gave the parable of a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. One servant was brought to him, who owed him ten thousand talents, and since he was unable to pay, the king commanded that the servant be sold, including his wife and children and the money used to pay his debt. The servant fell down before the king and pleaded for mercy and to give him some time to look for the money. The king was moved with compassion and cancelled and forgave his debt. The same servant went out and found a co-servant who owed him one thousand talents and demanded payment from him. The servant fell to the ground before him and pleaded for mercy, but the servant who had just been forgiven ten thousand refused to have mercy on his colleague but asked that he be put in prison until he paid his debt.

I think we will all be justified if we shout what! How could the servant who was forgiven ten times the amount his fellow servant owed him refuse to forgive his colleague? Well, if we look around us, don’t we see parallels to this story often? In one of the fairly old movies, a lady became manager in the office in a foreign country and instead of thanking God and making the office a pleasant place to work for her subordinates, she became a terror to them, exerting so much power that she was feared by everyone in the office. If she was coming in and anyone saw her from far, he or she would send a central message “the witch is coming” to everyone in the office so they could all face their computers to make it seem that they were busy working. Unknown to people who abuse opportunities in this manner, productivity in the office is not based on the amount of fear you instill on your team. Rather, productivity is based on empowering your team members and on building a relationship of mutual respect and trust with them. With this, your team members would not like to disappoint you so they will even work at odd hours to ensure that the job is done.

One thing I have noticed is that it's the people who never dreamed that they could have some opportunities who later abuse those opportunities when they have them. A friend recently told me the story of a poor family in an African country, who lived in a low-income community and were really struggling to make ends meet. Then, the husband completed the American Visa Lottery, and to increase their chances, he completed one form for himself and another form for his wife, giving them two chances. Fortunately, one entry came true – the wife won the lottery, and they were about to experience a lifechanging opportunity, if only they could raise the funds to travel and if they could identify a family that would host them upon arrival.

Wouldn’t you thank God for this family for finally having a good chance to make it in life? Well, not so fast. The wife intentionally did not include the husband when processing the Green Card. She processed for herself and the children, left the husband behind, landed in the U.S. and was hosted by a family that was introduced to them by my friend who told the story. The lady then grew wings when she started making some money, rented her own apartment and went out almost daily with various men, leaving her children unattended at home. I am sure that you can figure out what the children became as they grew older. Finally, after ten years, she processed immigration for her husband and when he landed, she did not allow him to sleep in her room; the husband slept in the living room or in one of the children’s rooms whenever possible. Space would not allow me to tell all of the story, but the wayward life lived by the lady took a toll on her health and she recently died.

God gave Saul, who, based on family background should never have had a taste of royalty, the opportunity to be the first king of Israel, but he abused the opportunity, caused God a lot of heartache until He rejected him as king and anointed a mere teenager in his place. God gave Solomon a powerful opportunity, granting him wisdom above all else and making him wealthier than any king before or after him. Solomon should never have been king, based on how his father hijacked his mother from his servant soldier, but God’s mercy is beyond comprehension. Solomon abused his opportunity, marrying ten times the number of women his father had and serving other gods in the process.

What opportunities are you abusing right now? Are you lording it over your subordinates in the office? If you are, then please learn a lesson from the opening story in this writing. Are you making life miserable for your assistant and other workers in the church? If so, please remember how you became a pastor and what the job of a pastor is and know that everyone who is working with you is serving on voluntary basis and can decide to go to another church where they can serve God peacefully. Are you a terror to your wife or to your husband or to your children? If so, please know that having a family is one of the greatest opportunities in life and there are millions of people who would like to have a family like you, but they cant.

Whatever you are doing in life, please know that there is a God in heaven watching you and He has all the powers and if He is as unmerciful and as unkind as men are, He could do anything to stop you and by the time the lesson is learned, it might be too late. We all have opportunities to repent now. Let us all seize it while they last, because it is possible that the opportunities would not always be there. Have a blessed week!

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 If you are yet to give your life to Christ, you do not have a covenant with God and His promises do not apply to you. To come under these promises, please surrender your life to Christ today, by praying this prayer:
 Lord I know that I am a sinner and I am unable to save myself. I am sorry for my sins and I pray that you please forgive me. I am aware that Your Son Jesus died for my sins and I accept Him as my Lord and savior. I surrender my life unto you from this moment. Please take control of my entire being and help me to be obedient to your Word, going forward. Thank you, Lord, for hearing me. I have prayed in Jesus’ name. Amen.
 If you prayed the foregoing prayer, you have just been born again. Please find a Bible believing church in your area and ask to see the pastor. Let him or her know that you have just given your life to Christ and s/he will guide you on next steps in your journey as a child of God. The Lord bless you!


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