When we make presumptions or assumptions without facts or faith, we take the wrong option! I checked the dictionary earlier and realised there isn’t much difference between both words except for the varying degree of certainty. But let’s put aside all that dictionary grammar; to assume, to presume, to suppose, take for granted, think or do the wrong things wilfully is a totally wrong course of action. Psalm 19:13 says deliver me from presumptuous sins. I truly need that deliverance because I’m guilty, are you?
Upon resumption of a village school this January, I had taken some new school materials to the school. It’s the usual practice to top-up on writing materials like pencils, pens and notebooks, so the pupils can have their used up ones replaced. We do this from our charity fund. My head teacher at the school reported that a primary one pupil who might have been one of those needing exercise books already had hers purchased by the parents.
I was furious.
We have a standing rule that the teachers where never to make such demands of the parents or guardians. These people can barely feed their children! Our mission is not to over burden them with such responsibilities, but to encourage them. Then my head teacher explained the circumstances: the girl in question had resumed school with all her exercise books torn in shreds. When asked, her elder brother in primary three said she was playing with them and tore them. So the head teacher invited her parents, showed them the books and asked them to buy a new set as punishment. That wasn’t enough punishment for me….
I called the little girl, asked her why she deliberately tore her books. The poor thing didn’t even understand all that English I was speaking in my anger. Turning around, I requested for the stick we use usually to punish and I flogged her on her bum-bum. I had barely given four strokes and the fragile little girl was screaming and weeping. So I let her go, instructing the elder brother that they were to ensure her books were properly kept.
So that was it (or so I thought). I didn’t give a thought to the matter after that. Well, not until I woke up the next morning with a horrible pain on my right arm. The same arm I flogged the girl with. The arm felt heavy with a sharp pain from my shoulder to my elbow. I tried then to recollect if I had hurt my arm the day before. I had not, the only incident I remembered was the little girl I flogged. Gradually, I became worried. I couldn’t tell my husband because he had warned me about flogging the children in school, his reason being some of these children didn’t feed well; to avoid a hospital emergency of child that collapses from the pain of flogging (but I am a Nigerian mother, I don’t spare the rod, even with my own son).
As various thoughts flooded my head, I remembered times the elders in the village had cautioned us about our dealings with the children. They had this belief some of them were elders in spiritual “egbe” so whenever we punished them we should be cautious. My caution would only be from the fact that we were not to physically abuse the children in the bid to punish them, not from some fear of possessed children.
Why should I think on such things? As a child of God (lifted far above principality and powers), I have always cautioned any of our teachers who displayed such fears towards their pupils. It’s not as though I don’t believe in the existence of demonic powers, but as a believer, God has given me authority over them. But as the pain persisted, all I could think about was the little girl and I became really afraid.
So I decided to confront the matter. On getting to school a few days later, I thought to tell my teachers about my fears and confront the girl. On second thoughts, however, I decided against it. What would my teachers think of me if they knew I was suspecting one of the pupils of witchcraft? Or that I even believed she had bewitched me? It felt totally self-absorbed to say the least. That said, I still couldn’t let go of my assumptions. What if I was truly bewitched? What if the girl was a witch? All these ifs. How could I imagine such wickedness of a child? I felt somewhat guilty looking at her innocent face in school that day.
Days followed and the pain persisted, and my assumptions became grounded, then I totally lost my peace. It became difficult to think right or to even pray.
Then came the weekend. About 7am, I woke up suddenly and realised my right hand stretched beneath my pillow was stiff. When I tried to move it I felt a sharp pain through my nerves. Then I tried to relax and move it gently, then it started to feel normal again. Although the pain was still there, I was able to move my arm. Lately I have been sleeping like this, with my hand stretched out beneath my pillow and my head on the pillow. I must have strained some nerves. That was the reason for the pain. The next night I was cautious and slept with my arms kept properly?. I didn’t wake up with as much pain, and that’s how the pain started to ease.
I felt horrible.
Thank God I didn’t confront the girl with my baseless assumptions. But the fact I had allowed myself wallow in those thoughts made me feel foolish and guilty. I asked God to forgive me. Yes, I asked for forgiveness.
Very often we assume, we presume and so many of us have made great errors in our judgements because of this.
Those times you accused someone because you assumed…
Those decisions you took because you presumed…
Some of our suspicions and prayers all based on assumptions and we have been binding and casting out the devil that is no one else but us.
Think of how hurtful it would have been for that little girl if I had made the mistake of confronting her! She would never have got over the trauma. I, who should have been a source of love and hope to her, would have become her worst nightmare.
The consequences of these wrongs can be grave, Psalm 19:13 talks of the great transgression. So please before confronting an issue or a person, make sure your assumptions are confirmed facts.
Watch it, that person you are accusing might just not be responsible. ?
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