Saturday, February 14, 2009

"Forgive as the Lord forgave you"

It was a busy day at work today, with insults to myself and the bookstore, although I must admit there were also compliments to the store. One man called us "overpriced" because we aren't selling a certain bestseller as cheaply as Sam's Club, of all places. Such remarks are so ridiculous they shouldn't make me angry, but they do.

The irritations began with a customer I have no great affection for. He was rude to me again. I composed a post in my head about it. I was going to display my scorn for him and his ilk as wittily as I could. Trouble was, during my devotions this morning I read a passage about Phil. 3:7-8, "Whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things." Before the customer, my head had been full of thoughts of holding no material thing and no activity as my own, especially should it hinder knowing Christ. After the customer, these ruminations inevitably turned to letting go of pride, as well. That's closer to the context and original intent of the verses, anyway. I also began thinking about how I know I need to remember how much God has forgiven me when confronted with a large hurt, but it's easy to forget and complain about the little slights. So I couldn't do it. I couldn't post it. Maybe there's still a place for occasional venting. I don't know. I think maybe so. But for me, now, about this guy, I don't think there is. I can acknowledge my anger instead of stuffing it, but at the moment I don't think I'm allowed to be witty at his expense.

I might not have posted this either -- it seems like a boost to my ego in its own way -- "Look how marvelously forgiving I am! Aren't I great?" And I still seem to be using it to tell people about how awful he was, albeit without details. But, knowing so well how easy it is to complain, since I gossip about and mock customers on a very regular basis, and knowing how one joke encourages another, I decided to attempt to encourage in the opposite direction. As Hebrews 10:24 says, "And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds."

I'm not a very good example (I'm still not sure I've really forgiven him his behavior), but I can point in the right direction. So, celebrate Valentine's Day with someone you love (platonically or not), but also, please, forgive a jerk today.

1 comment :

Tim said...

Just to help you be sure... forgiveness is a matter of the will, not of the feelings. If you choose to forgive, then you have, even if you're still sore about it. Feelings can, though, impede your choice.