I have found that our human relations have a great bearing on the way we relate with God. In my view, it should be the other way round – that our interactions with God should rather influence the way we relate with our fellow human beings. This unfortunate reverse relation I picked up adversely affected a very important part of my relationship with God.

On the first day of 2002 (or 2003; I’m not too sure of the year), my aunt, whom I was living with, gathered her children and the rest of us living with her. She gave us a speech about how the new year was for new beginnings. She then apologized for any wrong she had done against us and asked that we kick off the year on a fresh page.

Having done that, she asked us to also confess our wrongdoings. That way, it would be “draw-draw” between us. We (my little brother and l) went ahead and told her that we had pilfered from her store. She convinced us that it was good we shared those things with her; that she had forgiven us; and that we should go and sin no more.

We left the meeting surprised and happy. It was the easiest let off ever. Little did we know that those things we had confessed would be used against us for the rest of that year. For everything we did wrong that year, we were punished. And when my aunt lashed us, she would repeat all the things we confessed on January 1st and add their beatings as well.

Now with this background, I dreaded confessing my sins to God. This was because I feared that, just like my aunt did, God will use my sins against me in future when I erred.

It took many teachings to disabuse my mind of that stronghold. I learned that there are consequences for my wrongdoings. That notwithstanding, God forgives me for all my sins and does not deal with me according to them. For instance, when I steal and I’m caught I will be imprisoned. It does not mean that God does not love me and has not forgiven my sins.

God is not a man. Neither does He operate as a man. Let’s avoid looking at Him as a man. Also, let’s detach his ways of dealing with us from man’s ways of dealing with us.

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