BLACK TAX – Apostle Femi Lazarus at Black Tax Sunday Service|| SLC Global || 19th November, 2023 || 

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–  Apostle Femi Lazarus on ‘BLACK TAX’ at Black Tax Sunday Service|| SLC Global || 19th November, 2023 || 

We have a very ‘very’ interesting subject to discuss this morning. I’ve prayed and I’ve asked God to help me (Amen!)…and I feel this subject matter needs to be discussed. So I am going to be….let me share the big picture. This series is not just the series about family, relationship for the fond of it. It’s about culture overhauling. God has a bigger agenda and we are going to be wasting our time if we don’t begin from the family. Once we have this mindset established then we export it from that system to our Nation – things will shift. Church Gist. There is fire on the mountain! Infact, we are new in Abuja but I’ve discovered that Abuja is not better than anywhere else – it’s the same culture. Go to Ghana, the same thing. Travel anywhere in Africa, it is the same thinking.

So we were going to buy a shoe from a store – you (pointing to the person) went to get it and it was not my size. We say “change the shoe or if you don’t have this specific one that is my size, return the money so we can buy somewhere else” and they said “we have a company policy, we don’t refund money in this company.” I wanted to see the owner because that will be me looking at a rich guy who is about to become poor. Church Gist. Any culture where money is valued above satisfying people you are servicing, you will crumble. It’s just a matter of when. So God is addressing cultural beliefs. He is addressing things. Sometimes people are excited when the pendulum is not swinging their direction but you have to understand that God is also interested in dealing with you. 

So there is a very serious issue and we need to discuss it in Church because that’s where balance exists. Church Gist. The issue is that ‘anything that is a matter that we fail to discuss, those who are not balanced will take it up and they will give their own false narrative and that narrative becomes our narrative and everybody will run with it as if that it’s all that exists.’

So we are going to be dealing with the subject of “BLACK TAX”. I’m not teaching taxation. This is not economics class nor accounting. Church Gist. In a moment, I’ll tell you what this is but I want us to…or let me first tell you what it is then we check a few scriptures. Is that okay? 

Black tax refers to financial burdens or responsibilities (please you will want to write that down). Now, this matter that I am dealing with is a very deep one so don’t look at it on the surface, write because we are going to step into different areas (that you know!)…and by the way, I want to welcome all our people from Kano that are connected with us this morning. Church Gist. It’s so good to have you on board. Thank you, (it’s) good to have you connected with the family.

We have Sphere of Light Church, Lagos connected with us this morning. We have Abeokuta Church connected with us this morning and we have Sphere of Light Church, Ile-Ife connected with us this morning. “Abuja guys are not clapping for you guys because they are seeing me here.” Church Gist. They say “we are not watching him on screen today, thank God.” Alright! Ibadan is not connected. They are big boys so they are having their own Service. 

So, black tax refers to financial burdens or responsibilities borne by those who have attained a level of success in the family. So it is called black tax because it is an African thing whether African, American or whatever and I am going to show you why. It’s an African thing. Black tax refers to financial burdens or responsibilities borne by those who have attained a level of success in the family who provides support to less financially matured or secured family members. But unfortunately, black tax can be a crab culture – I’m going to explain what that means. Church Gist. So, there is a concept. It’s a culture exhibited by crabs. If you want to cage crabs, you don’t have to cover anything you are putting them in – just put more than one. The other one will never allow the one who is trying to climb, climb out.

So what’s happening is that somebody is trying to break free financially and become at least the first of a kind in the family who we can say broke free but the taxes, the responsibilities, the people and at the end of the day if there is no wisdom, everybody will remain at the same level. Generosity is a very ‘very’ important subject. It is very important and it is scriptural and that’s where I am going to start from. “He that gives to the poor,” the Bible says “lends to God whether poor on the street or poor in the family” and when you do that, the Bible says “you are lending to God.” Proverbs 19:17. Church Gist. ‘Proverbs is in the Old Testament. If you are in the New, you have not been reading your Bible for long and I will need to get you baptized this morning.’ I want to show you another translation that brings this home more. “Being kind to the poor is lending to the Lord, He will reward you for what you have done (New Century Version)”. Message translation says “mercy to the needy is a loan to God and God pays back those loans in full” – very powerful. God wants us to give. 

Say with me “God wants us to give, He wants us to be givers, He wants us to take care of the poor.” (Very important) God wants us to give. Infact, it is more rewarding when we give than when we receive. So that’s the balance. Giving is scriptural. It is unscriptural for God to bless you and you shut your bowels of compassion from your family – it is unscriptural. The Bible says that “a man that cannot provide for his household is worse than an infidel.” So, (listen) I’m trying to give you a balance before I start. Church Gist. As God lifts you, changes your level, you must be interested in flowing out. You must be interested in being a succour – you must understand that. That through your life because of your existence, the level of struggle and hardship in the family will be at least minimized (very important). So what is lacking in most cases is the wisdom and the balance to go about this. If not we are going to have the crab system.

Let me give you an illustration. One day some set of people went to the swimming pool to swim and the biggest guy there has been boasting inside the car. “When I get to the swimming pool (I mean ‘I dey swim’) I’m like fish, I can swim.” He said “I’ve swam one kilometer so when I get there (how many feet deep is swimming pool?)” They said “ah, go Johnny, go Johnny, go”. He got there, removed his shirt (and) jumped inside the water. They just started seeing bubbles, they were not seeing him. “Where is this guy?” So another guy jumped in to save him. Unfortunately for the guy that jumped in to save him, he was not as big as the person he was trying to save. Church Gist. So the moment he tried to lift that person, out of panic that one held him down. It took more than 4 lifeguards to come and then bring the both of them (out)  if not both the saviour and the person they are trying to save would have drowned. What is happening is that people don’t wait to attain a level of strength before they jump into responsibilities and they die there. That’s what happens.

They fail to understand that it takes maturity financially to remain a giver. If your finance is built on emotions, you are going to be very poor because in this life ‘problem nor dey finish’ – it can’t finish. 

Few years ago, our NGO (Non Governmental Organization)…we had this award program where we were recognizing different NGOs doing similar things in the Country and we invited one of my brothers who is now in America – (he) runs a powerful NGO and the first statement he made shook me. Church Gist. He said this is what I’m going to say as I receive this award “you can’t do everything.” I’ve been on the street, I know the language of the street, I know what’s going on around. I’ve been with people in different situations and different conditions.

Let me give you one illustration. I remember years back, one of our members was sick then at Ile-Ife. So I received a call. I was told she’s not feeling fine, she has been rushed to the hospital. So I called those who were there. I said “what’s happening?” They said “chei, chei, chei…” I said “alright, are they treating her?” They said “yes”. (I said) “Let them do everything they have to do, just let us know if there is any challenge.” Church Gist. While we were talking, I heard a woman crying in the background. She was crying and wailing. I said “confirm what is happening with that woman.” She said “ehn, her son is dying. They brought the son to the hospital trying to admit the son but the doctors won’t take the boy because they can’t pay any deposit and the boy is gassing.” I said “ah, tell the doctors to take in that boy, let me know the amount I have to pay. I am going to send in the money. How much do we have to deposit?” He said 10,000. 10,000? Tell them to take over the case now. Now! As they informed the woman, there’s a pastor willing to pay for your child, you know what she said? She said “he should not bother, he should bring the money.” I was shocked. Your son is dying, you were crying – I offered to help. Now the money came, you said the Pastor should just give you the money that you know what to do.

What I’m trying to tell you is that “money is not the need of every poor person.” If you think you can solve poverty problems by throwing money around, you don’t know anything yourself. People are poor not first because they lack, they are poor because there is a knowledge gap. Let me show you scriptures. Luke 4:18. Church Gist. There is an insight from this Scripture that you might need to see and then we are going to go to Proverbs 24. You think if God’s Spirit is upon you, He should be upon you to give people what they need. How do you tell me that good news is what poor people need except that’s what I’ve observed that they need? There is information that is missing and that is the first thing. Let me ask you a question. Since the day you’ve been throwing money around, who have you brought out of poverty? If none, then there is something you don’t know. Proverbs 24:3-4. 

Anywhere there is wealth, anywhere there is abundance, there is more than opportunity. There is actually knowledge. If you want to have money, you want to walk in abundance, it doesn’t answer to fasting and prayer alone. It answers to a body of knowledge also. That is the truth. Our curriculum for financial abundance is wrong. Church Gist. If I call for a prayer meeting and I call it ‘Breakthrough Moment’ (apologies if there’s anyone…I don’t know anyone who holds that kind of meeting) and I say ‘Breakthrough Moment’ is on Mondays between 8 and 10am. That is self sabotage. Somebody will either have to be sacked from his place of work to make it to that meeting or will have to be jobless (Do you understand what I’m saying?)…because in Africa we are sentimental about many things. Infact, I believe one of the problems we have is that “the things that are our responsibility, we have put it on God.”

For instance, yesterday I was following a program. A man saw his daughter (I think either 14 or 16 years old daughter) with a boy and they were hugging each other. When he saw her, he called the girl inside and beat the girl so much so, the following morning she died. When they were asking him “what have you done?” You know what he said? He said “I believe God gives and God takes.” It’s our culture. We don’t take responsibility. Church Gist. If while running Service, the gen (generator) goes off, we say “the devil knows what we are about to say is powerful that’s why he is ‘offing’ that gen.” The gen is actually going off either because there is no fuel or it’s just one. That devil is activated through lack. That’s the idea. 

Somebody is living in a dangerous environment, armed robbers come and then they kill the person. God did not take him. There is no money to get a gated place first and foremost. If we understand that “this is the way life works, we will take responsibility and then we will change our outcomes.” Do you understand what I’m saying? Hannah said “God has restrained me from having a child.” Was it God? When you read the story of Hannah, was it God that kept her from having a child? It wasn’t God. Church Gist. Actually in those days and times, they were not exposed to many of the medical advancement we are exposed to now and anything…did you ever see the Bible diagnose anybody’s medical condition? No! If you die, you just die. You say “God took him.” 

When the man said that he knows that “God gives and God takes” I said that’s it. It’s the same thing. It’s everywhere. When I was in JSS one (Junior Secondary School) I changed my result from 33 to 3rd. I just canceled one 3. When my father beat me, I said “it was the devil” and many African children are becoming irresponsible because they know that it doesn’t matter their level of irresponsibility when the parent goes to meet a prophet, the prophet will say it’s the devil – that’s some spirit, they are trying to make him do this…and this is somebody who is irresponsible. He is in charge. Church Gist. Everybody has offered to help him, he will drink with the money. But what will we say? It’s the devil. ‘It’s battle.’ ‘It’s family battle.’ Family battle bought gulder (alcohol) for him, bought ‘egbo’ for him – family battle! It is a wrong thing sir. Do you understand what I’m saying? It’s a wrong ideology and I want us to get that right. Are you following what I’m teaching? Or I have left you somewhere.

Anywhere there is riches and abundance, the Bible says “it is through knowledge – by knowledge shall the chambers be filled.” By knowledge! So one time my younger brother came to stay with me, they said “your younger brother needs to come and stay with you for WAEC (West African Examination Council).” I said no problem. So he came, paid for his WAEC, paid for the lessons (and) did everything in the house. When we were done, he said “I want to write JAMB (Joint Admission Matriculation Board) – I need money for JAMB. I said “ah, not that fast.” I said “money for JAMB is available but this is what we are going to do. You are going to learn something – what do you want to learn?” Church Gist. He said “he likes fashion designing.” I said “good, I will pay for that. Learn it for a year then pay for your JAMB fee yourself.” So he learnt it, paid for his JAMB and paid his way out of school…because most times your giving, your generosity has become toxic and you don’t know that you are helping people become irresponsible. 

Let me give you another illustration. I’m going to damage many things today. I’m just starting. There was a case and I knew the case won’t end well. I was angry. Some boys were dancing (in Chicken Republic)… they paid you as security…security guys dancing. You understand what I’m saying? They sacked them. Nigerians started wailing “ehen, because those boys, I will sponsor you, this, this – I will give you job.” Aha! How do we reward irresponsibility?…and then finally we offered to take them to Turkey. We didn’t get them born again, have no understanding about what Christianity is and it’s a Church that is sponsoring them. Nothing! Church Gist. They were going to Turkey and were clubbing and were calling the sponsors out. What did you expect? They were not doing the right things before you gave to them. Listen to this. What I want to show you actually is that sometimes we are giving not because we are generous, we are giving for our ego. Aha! That one you didn’t understand let me make you understand. It’s an African thing.

When people are getting married most times in many African homes, our parents will say “I will support you.” They are not supporting you for you, they are supporting you for their friends and if care is not taken, they will take the stage and they don’t even know who is getting married. Church Gist. It is ego to prove your size. “This is who I am” and meanwhile you are not standing on your two legs yet. Is it simple enough? I don’t want anything complex. We reward rubbish. We promote emotionally.

Bishop T.D Jakes said in fact, he said…(I teach ministers how to understand ministry, management, structure and all those things – I train pastors) and one time I was listening to Bishop T.D Jakes and he said “he thinks the problem of the Church is that we are quick to employ, we are slow to sack.” He said “but organizations out there are quick to employ and quick to sack.” Why? Because bulk of the things we do, we do them by emotions. Church Gist. In fact, one of the reasons why many of our environment or society can’t experience development is because the person selling pepper by the roadside is the younger sister’s friend to the brother of the Governor’s wife and if they want to, they will call and call – you can’t do anything. Emotion is anti-development. You have to replace it with wisdom and discretion. I’m not saying “don’t be emotional,” I’m saying be wise and that’s why I started with that scripture that God wants us to be givers. It is very important for us to learn to give. 

You must understand that solving poverty problems is not just about releasing money. For instance, look at Nigeria. In the last administration, we borrowed billions of dollars from the World Bank just about 2 months to the end of the administration…and what we said we wanted to do with those billions of dollars is that we will distribute them per household. We are going to share 10,000 households, 20,000 households and what we are giving to them is not strong enough to bring them out of poverty. Cluelessness! But sometimes we look at this and say “what are these guys doing?” But you are not doing any better. You are distributing per household – 50,000, 20,000, 10,000 in a way that will make them keep coming back again and again. That’s our problem. We are clueless. 

Financial illiteracy looks like mercy but they are not the same. If you are financially (I want to use a word but I won’t use it)…if you are not financially smart, you will look merciful because you are throwing money around meanwhile you just don’t have plans. It’s not like you are merciful after all, there is no plan. So that’s why it looks like you are merciful. You are planless, you are not kind. Take it as a fact. 

So I said black tax refers to financial burden or responsibility borne by those who have attained a level of success in the family to provide support for less financially secured family members. This concept however is a black people thing (just so you understand – it’s an African thing). In fact, in countries like America and all that, it’s one of the reasons why black people don’t succeed like their contemporaries because that crab system keeps bringing you down into the same bucket – into the same mud. I’ve always said this “you cannot solve a problem you are part of.” Church Gist. One way to be a solution is to first detach yourself and then you can begin to solve. Don’t give aid in a way that you too will soon need aid. Do you understand what I’m saying? If you are flying (I love this concept very much) and the air hostess, the air crew – they are giving you their safety procedures. They will tell you that in the case of the pressure drops and so and so forth, an oxygen mask will fall. They said if you have your child and you are there “fix your own first and then fix the child’s”…and I’ve been thinking why? If you fail to fix your own, you can gas out. Both you and the child will die. You must understand that…because I sense that God is preparing us as His people for a major season and a body of wisdom and orientation is important and needed. 

So understand the balance, generosity is scriptural. God wants us to give, He wants us to be givers, He wants us to learn, He wants us to take care of widows. In fact, James was saying that this is the religion that God accepts. He said when we give to the poor, when we take care of orphans…I believe that every believer as God is lifting you, must have a system of flowing to the less privileged. Maybe this Christmas you can plan at least a bag of rice or a keg of oil something to orphans who are orphans indeed, to widows, to the less privileged, to (an) environment where it is needed. Church Gist. Some people have stopped giving because they’ve been defrauded on several occasions. You’ve committed your entire life to people only to find out that they were using you. Don’t shut your bowels of compassion. We change the people but keep doing what you are doing. There are still genuine people around. There are widows who are widows indeed. There are orphans who are orphans indeed. There are many pictures flashing in my mind.

You see, what the devil wants to do is that he wants to get us tired and frustrated. You say, you know what? I am not helping anybody again. No, no! What you want to make sure is that you are doing the right things. Sometimes you see people in the hospital who are very sick and can’t afford…somebody’s wife is pregnant and about to give birth though I tell people that childbirth is not an emergency – you have 9 months to prepare. Church Gist. The one who knows how to impregnate a woman must also know how to…if you need money, you need money. Don’t play the blame game that in this life “fingers are not equal.” Don’t accept to be the short one. Have I lost you? Nobody should be tripped for not giving. What if the person doesn’t have?

One day I had a very scary encounter about giving. One of my friends was going to get married so he came around. I said you know what? I was to be his best man so I said “don’t worry about the suit, I will just buy it.” So he said “wow, thank you for that.” I said “you are welcome.” I said “don’t worry, this – I’ll just take care of that, you don’t worry, just buy that and all that.” Then he just gave me another budget again, I said “I’m not the only one in your circle of friends, let’s tell the rest so everybody can come together and give.” I said “particularly this person.” Church Gist. That person doesn’t like to give. I have studied him since we were on campus. One time he was cooking rice, I was coming to his room – he covered the pot with duvet. I saw it. So I said this guy…then he said a statement. He said “you know amongst our friends, you are the only one that God has lifted.” Aha! If I go with this mentality, you will kill me. I’m not giving because I have, I’m giving because I have a heart and sometimes many people who are receiving don’t know that this person has his own problems. He just…it’s a heart.

Sometimes when you give to people, the only thing they owe you is ‘tnx’ – very demonic way to respond. Or you give to people and they use it against you. They say “you are trying to use your money to control me.” But never shut your bowels of compassion because you gave to the wrong people. Church Gist. There is a balance. Somebody says “there is  a balance.” I think another reason why this subject is so important is because the year is ending. Many of you don’t have savings. You know you don’t. You and I know that you don’t. If your landlord should say “you are getting out of the house now and we are going to refund what you’ve used in the house”, you know you don’t have more to add to get a new house. You and I know that you don’t. Church Gist. Your salary increased this year compared to last year but your poverty rate is still the same to you. You didn’t grow. Tyler Perry said when he began to break through financially, the first year he made $130,000. He said at the end of the year, he was broke and the second year, he moved up and he made 2.8 million dollars. At the end of the year, he was broke. Then again in the 3rd year, he made about 6 point something million dollars and at the end of the year, he was still broke. You know some kind of problem knows when money enters your hands and that is why you have to plan yourself. 

How many have discovered that the moment small money starts entering, that’s when some uncles who you don’t even know exist…in the days that things were dried and street was running you, you will reach out to them – they always have ready made stories. Suddenly…in fact, one time a family member called me and was talking about his…my own is that if you want to ask me for money, ask on time. You can’t take the money and take the time. Don’t use one hour to explain, I don’t like it. Church Gist. The time is more expensive. So he took my time. Several times, I will press mute on, mute and unmute, mute and I’m talking so he can…but the man is very patient and that was bad for me. He was reporting his son who is into ‘yahoo’ (Internet fraud) bla bla. I knew where this matter was going. It’s that you want to collect money. Church Gist. No problem. But I was surprised, that after collecting…he now told me, he said “I know you are a pastor but you know that my son, he can even be in charge of your offering.” Wow! I have seen things in this life. Interesting because in Church people come and throw offerings, pastor, take dollars – that’s the mindset and that shows the reason why he was calling me. That he is a pastor, they are dashing them money. You just reported that this boy is (into) yahoo, he is smoking, he is doing all those things. He said the boy has the Spirit of God. He can manage the Church’s offering – just like that. You can’t do a lot with lots. You can’t. 

I want to show you a few complications around the subject of black tax. Is that okay? Can I show you some complications around that subject? Are you sure you want to hear them?

1. Once you get trapped with bills both necessary and unnecessary, you will not be able to build substantially like your colleagues. You will be left behind. Let this be very clear in your mind. One person cannot solve family problems. You can’t. Anybody who tries to become ‘El Shaddai’ shall die. You have just one life. You can’t solve all the problems. Once you… (listen) there are very few people that can accept your generosity and still understand that you are giving because you care not because you have so much. 99.99 percent of people hold you to it that you are giving because you have more than enough. It’s a scamming system. Church Gist. So let me explain. One of the ways you know you’ve just given money to scammers is that you don’t give once. Church Gist. Nobody calls you to scam you and collect money once. Let me explain. 

One time I landed in trouble. I wanted to make money quickly. So I just got somebody born again (ah! I’ve suffered o) and I didn’t know that ‘this person did not born again very well’ – it didn’t enter. So the person just got access to scam me. Then, she just called and said pastor there is a matter – I’m importing some goods from America and then the person who was to help me packaged those things, while he was packaging, the wallet fell inside (you know it’s now I’m thinking about it again) and inside that wallet…the wallet contained (I think) about 50 something thousand dollars and now the issue is that they have stopped it at the airport and they are saying such money cannot be allowed to pass. I said wow!  He said in fact the person is saying now that once we can help him to clear it and the money gets to Nigeria, he said “I will give you out of it.” Interesting! Like how much (in Jesus name)? He said like ten thousand dollars you know for helping. Ah! I sat down, I calculated $10,000. I’m going to open this and all that, yes, I will put this…I didn’t have the money. I said how much do you need to clear this goods? They said for now, there is an emergency – if you can send 100,000. I didn’t have 100,000. I called somebody I know, somebody who respects me so much. I said can you quickly just give me 100,000? Ah, I don’t have that money but my school fees – they just gave it to me. I’ve not paid and I can give you 50,000 out of it. I said “bring it, don’t worry, we are going to be rich. I called somebody else, collected another 50,000 making it 100,000 and I sent to them. 

Then they called again and said “the goods have landed in Nigeria but now they have to clear it and you know this ‘this’…I said “now we need 250,000. I don’t have it.” I said I’ve called people that can gather again.” Gathered another 150,000 – I sent to them. I kept telling them “relax, money is coming.” Money is coming 🎵🎼 I didn’t know. One day, I just noticed that everytime they call me it’s more money, more money – “what’s happening?” One time they didn’t know they’ve dialed my number and I had picked. The guy who has been speaking phonetics, speaking American English suddenly ‘I dey hear Warri broken English’ say “how far that guy na maga, he don pay?” He says “nor mind that guy, we go run am.” I was on the call for over 15 minutes. I was hearing what I was hearing, I was shaking. Church Gist. All the vision of the organizations I am going to open (with the) $10,000, they vanished. I started thinking about how I am going to explain. Say ‘you go explain tire, you nor get evidence.’ Ah! Wahala! So finally when they saw that I’ve found out that I’ve been on the line, they saw how long and what they have been saying. They cut the call and blocked my number. Both convert and convert’s friend, everybody blocked me. 

Then the people that I borrowed from now started calling me for money till the Church elders now gathered and said “Pastor Femi, sit down – we heard you collected money”… that’s one of the worst moments of my life. I paid the money. I said “I know I did many things and you know… so be careful of offering to do what you can’t afford to do. Sometimes it’s because you too have an agenda. Church Gist. That’s one very ‘very’ serious moment. There are very few people who can deal with the fact that you are giving and respect the fact that you are only doing it because you have a heart. 

Let me give you a balance. In giving to people, never let them have the impression that you have more than enough because sometimes you can be your own enemy. I know you are kind, I know you are good. It is kind people that die first in families – responsibility kills them without wisdom. I know you are kind, I know you are generous but add wisdom to it so you can be able to build. Add wisdom! In fact, I advise (I don’t know if it’s a worldly advice) that sometimes it’s good to also share your problems with those who depend on you. Just calculate that by this time of the month, this person will call and call first. “You can’t imagine what just happened, I’m telling you. Something just happened now “a fly was carrying the younger sister’s cousin and crashed on my roof.” He says ehen, yes! Do you mean a fly? Yes, a fly. Church Gist. You are saying rubbish but that’s also on a lighter note but I used to tell my wife rubbish. She will listen and listen. It’s rubbish. I say, I’m telling you “that’s how the guy went to buy ‘suya’. The suya that they put on the fire, the cousin of the goat was now passing…my wife would’ve listened and say “what are you talking about?” ‘You go explain tire.’

You need wisdom to do life. That’s the fact. You need wisdom. I’ve told you what to do. Sometimes you too call. Let me ask you a question “if you look at your life right now, list 5 people that you can call and say I have a challenge and will listen to you and give what they have. Do you have? But sometimes people who are givers, we ignore them. Church Gist. We feel they have, they are strong. You just leave them to rot. We too have plans and it’s good to also have givers around your life. Have plans sir. I want to say something “wrong culture in Africa has made it so that everybody just wants to survive regardless of who goes down.” It’s a dysfunctional system. It has made people move from being lovely to having a survival mentality. 

If you want to destroy a country, put them in survival mode, they will kill themselves because everybody will do anything to survive. People will do  anything for food and for water. That’s the dysfunctional case of many homes in Africa. It got so bad in Israel that mothers began to eat their children. Sir, ma you did not start the problem, you can’t end it but you can help and I’m going to show you how you can help in a substantial way that in another couple of years you will be glad. Let me say this to you “there’s a way your giving as a man will demonize your wife.” In fact, once you are coming from a dysfunctional background, one of the things to do as you settle down is to begin to cut those excesses because when you have your family and you want to focus on your family, they will say it’s your wife that has made you so…and the attack will be on you life. Church Gist. They said before you came to his life, he was doing this, he was doing that. You see it’s because you were not smart. You were not being wise. Don’t destroy the woman God has placed around you and everybody thinks she is a witch. 

You tell somebody that I’m going to give you this now but let me call my wife. Don’t bother calling. What do you want to say? Now everybody is saying “ehen, you don’t give…he say he wants to call his wife so it’s the wife that said he should not give…and one of the things I had to learn the hard way after marriage (getting married) is that I’ve lived my life as my own boss for a long time. Church Gist. So I say things spontaneously and my wife many times will just say “where is that coming from? We have not discussed this one.” I say “ah, it’s true.” Or just a few moments “we are going to have 4 family members, they will be with us for 2 weeks.” How? 

One of the worst cases I’ve received years ago (I can’t share any recent case because I hold people’s matters confidentially)…years back, somebody got married. The husband and wife, no money. In fact they moved to a one room apartment.  Listen to what I’m saying (this matter is a true life matter). The father told her on her wedding day that two of her siblings will be moving in with them. One room apartment! The ideal thing is that every man should provide for his own household. Church Gist. That is, parenting will not end until the children can stand on their own – that is the scriptural design. Dysfunctional has made it in such a way that we do it halfway, you continue from there why you are also doing your own. If care is not taken, you will do your own too halfway,  your children will continue from there. The pattern will keep going on. Somebody has to break the cycle. Do you understand what I’m saying here? Very important!

So don’t plan to start eating children’s food at 50. Ibukun Awosika is in her 60s and she’s still active. See, your purpose will keep you healthy and young. Lack of it will make you old. You will envy being called grandpa on time because you want to begin to eat children’s food. That is the literal word we call it that you are translatively trailing. Plan to be the kind that even at 70, your children want to be like you. Church Gist. I am not trying to insult parents but I’m saying as much as we give them the honor, we must recognize what we must not repeat. Church Gist. One of the best gifts you can give your children is to make sure that they don’t have to inherit black tax. Is that clear? You must break the cycle and you can’t break that cycle by throwing money around. I’m going to show you. You must break the cycle!

I have a very strong burden and I believe one of the strong expressions of my ministry is to speak to the male man…and it’s not an attack. Church Gist. I just have burdens for the male man and I can tell you that there’s a way to prepare for marriage. One of it is that “don’t give yourself to too much giving and tax at home.” Church Gist. Give with wisdom and do what you can continue. Don’t promise what you can’t do. Give in such a way that you will still be strong to repeat it. Is that clear? (Very important.)

2. Many people believe that givers have more than enough that’s why they are giving and the implication of this belief system is that people will add more bills and responsibilities to your own believing that you have so much that is why you are giving. Church Gist. When something is available abundantly, everybody wants to waste it. That’s the culture. Rain is a gift from God. Isaiah 55:10. Rain is a gift but that’s what we waste the most. “Eh, allow it to waste” because it’s abundant. I remember one time in Kano probably precisely 2011 or 2003 (I can’t remember) no, 2007, 2003…there was a riot called the Galadima riot in Kano. So people invaded the market and they were looting. Somebody will go to the market and loot 10 cartons of tomato paste. What will you do with it? This one will go and loot yam, ‘pack plenty yam’ because once it’s available abundantly we waste it. Many givers are creating culture of wastage because there is no plan.

I think if Nigeria will do well, there is a financial culture that we need to study and it’s a bit close to the Jewish culture. It’s the Ibo’s system. There’s no financial system in this Country that has proven right to lead people out of poverty like their system. Church Gist. You serve for a certain period of time, you are taken care of. That serving period, you will serve. Once you are done serving, somebody settles you and you see that when they settle people, they stand on their feet. What does that tell us? Throwing money to people who are not doing anything is wastage. 2,000 there, 10,000 there – what are you doing ‘na’? When I was your age, who was I calling? They will never grow to be mature and responsible because you are not lifting out of poverty, you are just throwing money around. 

3. Your generosity can be toxic. It is possible you give because of these 3 reasons.

i) Prestige

ii) Guilt

iii) Compulsion

So people give out of guilt. In fact, this one is a serious matter. It’s a psychological thing where people think that you feel it is a sin for you to have and somebody else doesn’t have. God is not cheating on them to bless you. God is not cheating on anybody to bless you. Never feel guilty because you have and somebody else doesn’t have. Everybody should take responsibility for the outcomes they have. Once we begin from there, we will know how to help each other. The moment you feel guilty for having, people will guilt-trip you and manipulate you. “Is it because you are the one that God has blessed now? So you think you”…no, no! Church Gist. Thank God for the blessings of God but these blessings came on something I was doing and the same blessing is available for you on something you should be doing. You said you want to use money to start a business – “we gave you money to start the business, we didn’t see the money, we didn’t see the business.” So you said you need money to pay for school fees, we gave you to pay for the school fees – we only found out that you’ve reached out to another family member because you didn’t pay for the school fees. You ate with it. You said you need money for so and so, we gave…everytime we give to solve a problem, you are not using the money for the purpose. Nobody should feel guilty for another person’s outcome. People choose what they become and there are critical seasons that if people are not serious and they missed that season, they may struggle for life. 

Anyone who has the opportunity to study should study. The one who has the opportunity to learn something should learn it. Failing to study and failing to learn something will make you poor. Period! You either have to be in school or you are learning something. Learn a business, learn a trade. Church Gist. Learn something sir. You have an uncle whose wife is telling you they’ve not eaten today, what is the job of the uncle? That statement the wife is saying, is it true? Or they have just found a father christmas. These are issues and we have to discuss them. 

So never feel guilty because God has blessed you. Never feel guilty because you have and somebody doesn’t have up to you. It is not your fault if anybody doesn’t have. Hello? Can I say this again? It’s looking like I’m touching the Africans where it hurts now. I said “it is not your fault that you have, it’s not your fault.” Everybody should take responsibility for their outcomes then we will see what we can do. Are you following me? Church Gist. This guilt is the reason why when you enter a vehicle with someone who is younger to you, you feel you are under obligation to pay. Who sent you? Who told you it’s by age? “Ah, ‘bro’ don’t pay, don’t pay, ‘egbon’? ‘Egbon’ is broke. He is not going to have money for food this afternoon. “Don’t worry, don’t worry, I ‘gat’ you. It’s your ego. You are not nice, it’s just your ego. When you go to (the) supermarket, you say “don’t worry, I will handle the bills.” Aha! What is my business with what you are buying? God bless you, thank you…see, my own philosophy is “leave me with my bills, I will leave you with yours – let nobody trouble each other.” You got to the supermarket, Apostle is so good to see you. How are you doing? So good to see you. I will not even greet you in a way that you will say…you came to the supermarket with your two legs – you should buy what you know you can afford. True? It’s so good to see you. God bless you my friend. Take care of yourself. See you some other time. Bye bye. I have to leave. 

Somebody is trying to sell something and say “I can’t afford it.” You say “a whole you sir – we know you”. How do you know me? How do you know a whole me? I have issues I am dealing with, you say “a whole me.” What you are trying to do is that you are trying to massage my ego so that I will put money into what I’m not ready for. Do you understand what I’m saying?…and most times, it is poor people who need to make (a) statement. When you truly have it, you are not under pressure to make any statement. Church Gist. It is poor people that use money they don’t have to buy things they don’t need to impress (those) who don’t like them. Somebody is having sleepless nights over the kind of wedding gown she wants to make. Nobody has told you that wedding gown is (worn) once. You can actually rent. There is no problem. I told people, getting married (and) having sleepless nights because of reception – you are about to feed those who are not hungry and your wedding is just one out of hundreds they will attend. Let them go home. Joined together…you want a pastor that can help you handle it in a way that nobody will not even know that they did not eat, I have the strategy. As we do benediction, I say “please pick your Bible, the loudest Amen…just keep shouting hallelujah, turn around. Now touch 7 people, go to the door and shout a louder Amen as you go – the first to leave this hall receives the blessing. Amen. Bye bye. Husband and wife go and enjoy!

The fact that you have the money doesn’t mean you can afford everything. Stop killing yourself sir. “I have to prove ” – December is coming, we will go to the village for Christmas. You will go to the village (laughs). Your colleagues are coming so you want to do competition with the money you don’t have. January is coming. January is a long month – always long and it’s stubborn. It will be drawing like (a) snail. Church Gist. Once we pass there, everything will start moving ‘phew, phew, phew’ (very fast). You will start uploading status “help your guy”. “Wen you dey do dorime, you ‘nor’ know.” It’s amazing. Look up! One time I went to an environment I had lived in for about 10 years. So as I was going back, I was in the car, I discovered that the woman who was selling ‘lacasera’ by that same road was still selling it there. I think the idea of all those kinds of stressful businesses is to work your way out of it. 

I tell people “you don’t make money and just pour back”. You are trying to bail yourself out of it. In fact if you are going to build wealth, salary is not the route – that’s the fact. Listen to what I’m saying. If I say “shout the loudest Amen by this time next year, you will be the 10th richest man in the World, ‘na lie’. You will not be. It doesn’t come by Amen. It comes with a body of knowledge. Church Gist. So we pray but there is…do you understand what I’m saying? If Amen should make people rich, then we know where we will find the richest people.  If it’s by Amen, me too I will be at the back. I will not even say “shout Amen.” Aaaaameen!  As I shout one Amen, one million dollars. But ‘na lie’ and if care is not taken, we just like the Amen for what it sounds like – the fact that it gives us the impression that we are building a powerful ministry. Our Amen is shaking everywhere. Have I lost you sir? Are you tired of me? I can just stop here and just wrap up. So I’m showing you the complications. 

4. You are not ‘El Shaddai’. God introduced Himself to Abraham as ‘El Shaddai’ and you are not. You are a person. You are one human being that has breath in the nostrils. If you die today, the person that loves you the most will cry, those who love you will cry for a couple of weeks. The one who was not eating the first day, the 2nd day, the 3rd day will say “this thing”…I can manage custard – they will start from there and they start eating rice…and eventually they will start saying ” so this person is gone.” Yes…gone. They go back to their normal life. Church Gist. Don’t kill yourself. Don’t die. It’s an advice. You are more profitable alive. Don’t die. When was the last time you checked your bp (blood pressure)? You are young but your blood pressure is rising because you are carrying too much load. Don’t die. In fact, you are not even taking good care of yourself. The one who is making the money looks like a servant. You can’t buy the food you need. ‘Oga’ take care of yourself. Some of this sickness that you are having is because you are not eating good food. It’s the wickedness you are doing to yourself. Garri has wanted to kill you. You say “I like garri” – it’s poverty. You don’t like garri. You are only broke. You say “ehn, but we know some rich people who also like garri.” Shut up there! The defender of the poor. 

There are many things you will discover you like that you don’t know yet. That’s the truth. You like the barber that will manhandle your hair than the one who will do it well. You say “because this one is cheap”. Have you discovered that you now struggle to get good things that you need. You feel guilty when you get them but you feel cool when you throw the money out. It’s a sign that something is already wrong. I’m not saying you should become self absorbent, then begin to live for yourself alone but I am saying “be balanced.” Dear men that like to give, understand that your wife too has need. That thing you are throwing out, if you give it to your wife too, there will be more peace in the home. Some people are not generous to their immediate families. Church Gist. They are ‘Mr nice guy’ everywhere but the wife is confused. Everybody is sharing testimony of your generosity but the wife can’t attest to it. Your children, their clothes are torn – everything tattered but you have more than enough. You have become an infidel – a man who can’t provide for his own household. That’s scripture. Sometimes you love people but you still have to let them know that we are not going to drown together and I’m not going to change my strategy.

I mentioned on Tuesday about the case of that young boy that died (the musician). The moment he died…the day of the burial, family members were already fighting over house and car – survival mode. When people enter that mode, money becomes more important than life.

5. Understand that if you die today, (which I’ve mentioned) everybody will survive. So understand that you are only taking care of the challenge because you are alive. It is not that if you were not there, it will be done. Church Gist. It was being done before you became prosperous. The same way it was being done, it can be done. It’s not that deep. Do what you have to do. I will show you the balance. You must understand that. 

6. Sometimes you need to understand that the money you are throwing around is not a sign of generosity necessarily, it is a sign of financial illiteracy. Anything you have no plan for can fly. Church Gist. It is not a sign of generosity, it is a sign of financial illiteracy. Do you have a budgetary system? Do you have plans? What is your financial goal for the next 5 years? What are you working at? What are you working towards? What are you building? Do you have investments? Do you have savings? Or we just think that everything will answer by Amen. It won’t work. Do you have investments? Do you have savings? What are you building? What’s your financial policy? What determines where money goes? And sometimes to be a good manager of your money, you can’t be the one in charge. The one who is too emotional cannot be the one managing it. You need structure beyond you. You need some accounts that even you can’t access so that the day you will want to become foolish, the fact that you can’t access will write it off and you will discover that ‘that’ problem that ‘that’ person wants to kill you with will still be solved without you. That’s the truth. 

You can’t have access to the place where you are putting your life savings. Then you go and break everytime…when you started this year, we saw what you wrote in your financial plan – piggy banking (whatever system you planned to use). You broke it more than 5 times. Till now you have nothing. You say “I’m going to have a system” and next year is starting – you have started again. You are not still listening. You’ve started again. By next year, by the grace of God, I’m going to…you have not changed your orientation. Church Gist. By December now, you will start seeing pictures flying around. “So I’ve been saving in my piggy bank, I broke it and I can’t believe what I am seeing here.” So you say “I’m motivated, next year, I will do the same thing” (laughs) but with this mindset? You’ve broken it. You’ve eaten it. Anytime you go to eat in a restaurant, you say “serve them round”. ‘Mr nice guy.’ ‘Aunty kindness’. Your angels are shaking their heads because they know that you are not wise. 

What’s the balance? Let’s look up everybody. Let me ask you a question. How many times have you ever had to cry to God for oxygen? Hold on. How many times have you ever had to ask God for mangoes before mangoes season will come? Church Gist. How many times have we ever had to pray (what’s your best fruit? Watermelon) God we want watermelon season? God designed everything in such a way that there will be a cycle of consistent production. Look up. There is a wisdom there.

God planted trees in the garden and beyond the garden. The trees will have fruits. The fruits will have seeds and when you eat the fruit even if you throw away the seeds, they will grow. Church Gist. Everything that God made, He gave them the ability to reproduce themselves. So what do you want to do? You want to learn from God. Don’t give bread, give seeds. That is (look up) “oh, what do you need?” – You say “ehn, my rent, my rent”. Take this rent now. Another time, “what do you need?” “Rent oo.” Take this rent – that’s bread. Church Gist. Come let’s talk. What do you want to do with your life? You say “I’ve been trying to do this and all that.” “I’m going to support that business.” If you are smart as you claim to be, you should be able to make money from that business and that becomes a recurrent order of production so that you never have to have rent as a prayer point again. 

The issue is that many times what you are throwing around is still enough to help this person stay sustained but you are not thinking production, you are thinking consumption. That is the problem. 

When the Bible says that God finished everything, He rested. That rest is not from tiredness. That rest is what you have when there are principles in charge.  That’s what you have. If you go and climb (a) 20 storey building and jump and in between where you have jumped and hitting the ground, you say “Father, I shall not die”. You have violated a principle, you won’t have rest. You will kill yourself. (That is very important.) So rest is what you have when there is a body of wisdom in charge. Church Gist. God had rest because He will never have to worry about the rat giving birth, He will never have to worry about the lion giving birth, He will never have to worry about how they will eat. There is a balanced cycle. Create systems that give you rest. Is it too deep, what I’m saying? Create systems. Everytime mummy, daddy – we want this money, we want that. That your business, how is it going? He says “it’s fine”. Okay, let me just put this money inside so that you can take it up from there. Period!  You have rest – seed.

Any farmer that eats the fruit and throws away the seed has thrown away the future. Do you understand what I am saying? You must understand that what I’m saying is even at a level. There is a level where you cannot afford to even give anybody seed yet – even you need to be strong first. You are not standing. Stand first then you can now extend (a) helping hand but you are not standing – you will drown. Church Gist. You can even miss your future partner. You can miss your future partner like that.   Once they see you and look at the budget around your life, they run. They can look at you…the way this girl is thinking – so these ones, they are my load now. Say anything you want to say, not everybody will cope and people have the right to run. People have the right to run. True or not true? When they see that this thing can’t work, they have the right to run and just avoid you.

Just (a) small conversation they are having now, that let’s go on a date and then just get something nice. Church Gist. You have brought 3 friends and then, what is that look? She says “won’t you buy take away for my friends?” ‘Oboy’, pack your shoes and run. If you like, do ‘Mr. Nice guy.’  “Don’t worry, I’m capable”. Mr. capable. “I am going to chest everything.” ‘You go soon learn.’

Don’t give in such a way that you will fuel people’s irresponsibility. What you want to do is that you want to make sure you are not the only one doing this. So let me help you so that you can also be strong then we can be two helping the rest. Church Gist Then the both of us will pick one more again, help you become strong and then you guys can…at some point, I can focus on the things I am doing. You guys should handle those stuff and help yourselves. Creating a network that you have broken the patterns of dysfunctionality. 

Now, nobody should deceive anybody with “I’m in school, I don’t have money.” No! Your mates are learning Tech programs in school. You can learn graphics designing and make money from your house. There are freelancers, those who write online and I have people who are making thousands of naira from writing. You can write. Why are you not trying to do anything and you just want me to do…? No, you can write! I will recommend you learn. You can learn forex. You start trading with (a) demo account and then from there you can start funding small ‘small’. I’m not recommending…listen to what I’m saying. Church Gist. Don’t hear what I did not say. I just mentioned one business I know. Maybe I (will) take it back because I am not a forex trader. I have given people to trade for me a few times – it didn’t go well. It’s not like…do you understand what I’m saying? Please, I just sensed in my spirit to balance that. So I’m not involved. You can learn many things sir. You can learn photography. 

I have one of my boys, he is a photographer. Sometimes, he comes around – travels (to) different places to go and take people pictures. He collects hundreds of thousands. When he came, he was looking for admission. I said “while you are waiting for this admission, why should you be waiting everyday? Start learning something. Church Gist. Then I called one of my friends who is a good photographer. I said “please I want one of my boys to learn from you.” He said “no problem.” He went there – he learnt and became amazing. Start your way from there! Don’t sit down and say “God change my story.” Change your own story. You have the pen in your hands – rewrite it. 

God is not coming down from Heaven to help anybody. He has given you all that pertains to life and godliness – work with it…and that is why we think “God will come and change Nigeria.” He will not. Nigeria by Nigerians…the day you become tired, you will break their yoke from your neck. You are not tired yet. It has not gotten to boiling point. Church Gist. Forget about any prophecy about Nigeria – ‘e nor go work’. No nation…listen to what I’m saying. Prophecies are powerful but no prophecy fulfills itself, people fulfill it and sometimes those who don’t even know the prophecy that fulfills it – just working by what is right because those who know it think it will happen by itself. It will not. It will not happen by itself. 

Don’t create a system where you have helped people to be irresponsible. Anybody can learn. Once you can read and write now, you can make money. You say “I don’t… (sobbing) is it because mummy is no more that is why?…’shhhh’ I know you have not planned to go and join her there. Work if not ‘hunger go kill you’. Work…hunger! I’m telling you. People go to America (and) work in McDonalds, work in all those…there is nothing stopping you from starting from Chicken Republic here. It’s a replica of McDonalds. I sold ‘indomie’ by the roadside sir. I sold noodles with apron (with tie). There are still places I go today, when they see me ‘Uncle Mathematics’. Church Gist. I taught maths. One time, I discovered that the way to make more money – I will tell them ‘this equation I have given to you, take it to your school (and) if they can solve it, I will stop teaching.” They will take it and when they come back they will be proud. I will say “pay for my lecture before I start.” I was surviving and sometimes it is this thing we went through that made us strong.  We didn’t die, we only passed through. It only came to pass. I am a man on a journey but this is where I am at the moment. Period! Knowing where you are is not a crime. Trying to fake is the problem. You can’t fake it till you make it. Do what is genuine. That is the balance. 

Create structure. Some of you have a family Whatsapp Group (interesting one). As you are wrapping up the year, have (a) family conversation. From henceforth let no man trouble me for I bear in my body the marks of Christ. You don’t know how to start, table all your problems. Let them read it and say “I need help”. Say “please, I need help.” 

You know when you want to ask somebody for money and the person now comes and say this is my problem. The person that’s coming to ask for money will not be able to ask again. “But you were coming to see me” You say “oga, don’t worry, I think I will be fine.” Actually you would have been fine. It’s because you think that I have. Church Gist. Let me share my problem with you. You are too quiet, that is your problem. Share your burden too. Maybe God might even raise somebody there who has just hit one jackpot and can give you $100,000 and say “brother, I give you.” But you won’t share. Help people to become more responsible.

2. Help but never promise what you can’t do. In fact understand…put your recurrent expenditure in view before you promise that is the cycle of your spendings, put it in view before you promise. Don’t promise. “By next year, I’m going to build your house.” Don’t promise! Church Gist. Do you know the economic forecast for next year? Do you know what is going to happen? Maybe COVID will come or something else will come again now, people will start crying and now you have gone to promise somebody what you have not…the year you have not started. 

People used to reach out to our Ministry and say we want to invite Apostle to come and preach in our place. We have prayed. The Holy Ghost said, he is the one. ‘Na lie.’ The Holy Ghost did not say. You are inviting me for 2 reasons. Only few invite for the 3rd reason – those who know the uniqueness of your anointing and want it. Many people invite because they see that you have the ability to pull people and if you don’t go, they will tell somebody else the same format that the Holy Ghost said. I told people “you can spend your life servicing people’s admiration and not do what God has called you to do.” Church Gist. They say “come and minister” – I say “let next year start first.” So we have plans to go and plant Churches in different countries, I’ll not be feeling guilty that I promised you. In fact, as your life increases, the less you promise because there is a lot of logistics sir. Promise less. Sometimes the people complaining are not the problem, you are the one who has said what you can’t do.

3. Consider your immediate family and make viable plans for them. If you don’t have one yet, start…in Africa, particularly if you are coming from a dysfunctional background, before you marry, you will need at least 3 years to prepare the ground because you are doing things that doesn’t make sense. Church Gist. A woman will come that will help adjust those things, they will demonize her and say she is your problem. “Ever since he is married now”…meanwhile this woman is trying to help you build wealth. She knows what both of you will face. She knows the days that both of you don’t have but you will not listen because you are a man – you are manly. 

4. Helping people is scriptural but you want to make sure you are stepping into what is necessary or you are helping people to do what is necessary. Not that people are just trying to take advantage of you. Church Gist. There are things that somebody else can do. In fact, there are needs that people bring to you that what they need is advice. You say “wow, do you know this ‘this’…I can advise you – okay, go about it this way, when you go about it that way, you will… Never feel obligated to throw money around always. You don’t have to respond to every problem with a credit alert. It’s not a good orientation.

As you plan for 2024, I believe this teaching will be relevant in preparing you and helping you get it right (am I correct?) and helping you build sustainably. Your health will recover also, your blood pressure will be normalized, you will become more effective, cut off the excesses then you can do what is important. Church Gist. In fact, that’s when you will be able to truly help. You will be able to help the people who really need it, not just everybody thronging on you. 

Understand as I leave you now and I pray for you, never feel guilty because you have and somebody else doesn’t have. It is not your fault. Church Gist. You are trying to help people, you are trying to help them get the balance, you are trying to help them come up, you are trying to help them mature, you are trying to help them understand. But you must understand that it cannot and must not be done out of necessity. It must be done out of shared generosity. Don’t be bullied into a system where everybody feels “we have to milk you”. (Very very important.)

I’m still going to teach on how this black tax affects the African Church because there is a Church tax. Church Gist. I have taught people in this Church that you have to give in such a way that you remain a giver. There is a way you give even after pouring anointing oil on (25 liters), you will be very broke. 

There is reward for generosity, there is no reward for foolishness. The motivation of right giving is love. Church Gist. That is the motivation – “I love you Lord.” The sacrifice we sacrifice too…but there is a balance. 







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