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Opinions of Saturday, 17 October 2020

Columnist: Isaac Asare Poku

My father is a gossip

An image of a child with his father An image of a child with his father

Growing up, I abhorred my Dad's stern and disciplinary nature but I admired him for his unwavering devotion to God.

He read his Bible regularly and he never missed church. Accordingly, I had no choice but to follow him all the time. Since we lived in a locality where most of my friends didn't go to church, Sunday was my worst day. Yet, something within me admired my father's dedication to God.

When I reached Primary 2, my teacher gave my class an assignment to write about our Dads.

I entitled my essay, "My Father" and I began to write. I decided to write very nice things about my Dad so that my teacher would be impressed that he is a good man. However, I struggled to find the words I needed. My main goal was to write that my Dad loves God and the things of God. But I didn't know how to write it.

Finally, I managed to write something and I submitted my work to the teacher. Not long, my teacher finished marking our work. He shared the workbooks and all my colleagues received theirs. I noticed that he was done sharing them but my name was not mentioned. I stretched my neck and saw my book lying on his desk, so I wondered why he didn't give it to me.

Before I could tell him that I hadn't received my work, he looked at me and smiled. He then picked the book and stood in front. He opened it and told the class that he must read my essay so that they could also enjoy it just as he did. He said that amidst laughter.

My heart started racing very fast because I knew something was certainly wrong. What scared me more was the fact that I had a degree in teasing; hence, I knew I wouldn't be spared if my mates found the opportunity to retaliate.

Reading my sweaty write-up to a very attentive class, he paused and said, "Now listen to this. Isaac wrote here, 'My Father is a gossiper.' Isaac, what do you mean by that." Upon hearing this, a section of the class burst into laughter. I suppose those who didn't laugh didn't understand that 'big' word I used. The teacher looked at me, waiting for an answer. "Errrmmm... Sir, I want to say that my father like God and Gospel song," I explicated. Herein my teacher roared with laughter unto lacrimation. Annoyingly, some of my mates who understood the word laughed uncontrollably.

It was after this episode that my teacher explained the word "gossiper" to me. Before that, I thought since Gospel song is a Christian song, anyone who loved God and sang gospel songs was a gossiper.

The prefix "Gos-" in both lettering deceived me. Even though I wrote that "My father is a gossiper," you can bear me out that I meant something entirely different. My father is not a gossip; he is a staunch Christian.

When I got home, I told my parents all that happened and they comforted me. My Dad especially received the news with so much delight. For him, it wasn't so much about what I wrote than what I intended.

The fact that I thought of him well and strove to scribble it was enough joy for him. Owing to my earthly father's disposition at that time, I now appreciate the nature of my Heavenly Father the more. God knows and understands the motives and struggles of his children, including our battle to speak with him perfectly.

Like young boy Isaac, Christians also scuffle verbally and even mentally when describing or speaking with our Almighty Father.

Regardless of the level of maturity a Christian attains, he is still unable to accurately choose the right words in communicating with God. However, our gracious God allows his Spirit to filter our prayers and translates them appropriately for us.

Here Paul said it in this manner, "In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words" (Romans 8:26, NASB).

Isn't this benignant offer so soothing for the Christian? We do not have to worry about God marking grammar in our expressions and exposing our mistakes to our friends. All we have to do is to pour our hearts to him with sincerity.

In this, His Spirit would reword them fittingly on our behalf. If you were formerly hesitant to speak to God because you didn't know how or what to say, I admonish you with this message to go before him and freely express your innermost thoughts and emotions.

This privilege is harnessed by God's children each day. If you aren't his child yet, he can adopt you as one when you believe in Christ (Mark 16:16), repent (change your mind) and consider Christ as Lord of your life (Acts 2:38), confess Christ as Lord (Romans 10:10), be baptized (Acts 22:16), be added to his church (Acts 2:47), and walk in newness of life (Romans 6:3-4).

Enjoy the Grace of God!