I worked in the sales industry for 24 years. I worked with a lot of wonderful hard working, good-hearted people. Unfortunately, I also ran across a few sales people that were dishonest and certainly unethical in the way they did business. I had a situation once in our office where a newer sales associate, unethically acquired one of my clients. He was gloating to some other associates about how he did it and eventually it got back to me. When the first two associates came to me, to tell me everything they had heard, they were fired up about what this co-worker had done. I was so thankful in that moment that God gave me such a peace about the situation and immediately knew what I wasn’t going to do. They wanted me to report him to our broker, take back the client and pursue getting back the commission that should have been mine. I felt even if I won this particular battle with the co-worker, at this point it wouldn’t have been in the best interest of the customer/client. I didn’t explain most of my thought process to these associates that clearly wanted justice! I just smiled and thanked them for letting me know. When they pushed to find out what I was going to do, I calmly told them that even though I was disappointed in what this co-worker had done, that I truly hoped that the deal went through smoothly.
Fast forward, over time I became good friends with one of the associates, that had brought that situation to my attention and eventually we also became neighbors. This co-worker/friend/neighbor didn’t go to church, didn’t claim to be a Christian but was a good person. After we had been neighbors for a while, one of our mutual neighbors turned on me, because she was jealous of our friendship. We both tried to be sensitive to her, but she began making up rumors about me and then calling me out on them in front of other neighbors. I was upset and hurt by it but wasn’t sure what to do, except try and talk one on one with her. She agreed to talk to me but even in private she wouldn’t acknowledge that what she was saying was untrue. I prayed about it and I prayed for her. My mutual friend asked me what I was going to do. She knew that I did not like confrontation and unfortunately this other neighbor seemed to live for it. I knew my friend didn’t have a bible, nor to my knowledge, know much about what the bible said. (I did eventually buy her a bible and showed her how to look up scriptures) I made a copy of a page out of my bible and highlighted the following scriptures so I could share it with her:
Romans 12:17-21 17 Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable.
18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.
19 Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge;
I will pay them back,” says the Lord.
20 Instead, “If your enemies are hungry, feed them.
If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.”
21 Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.
As my friend read it, tears came to her eyes. She said, “I don’t know how you do that, but I trust that you will”. I assured her I was far from perfect but that I really would make every effort to live by those words. I told her that this other neighbor and I might not ever be able to be friends, but that I would continue being nothing but kind and friendly to her. My friend would later shoot me an email, telling me what initially attracted her to me was how I had handled that situation in our office years earlier. She said, “I admired and respected how you handled that back then and now that I understand more about what you believe and live by, it makes me admire and respect you even more!”
Please don’t miss understand that I think we should let people and businesses take advantage of us while we smile and take it. Oh my, I’ve been on the phone 3 times in 5 weeks with a wireless company, trying to get a credit for when they overcharged our December bill! This is just a reminder to use wisdom, look to the Word (not the world) for guidance. People are watching our lives and especially when they see we’ve been treated unfairly. They are waiting and watching to see how we respond. Colossians 3:12-14
Love in the way you want to be loved, forgive in the way you want to be forgiven and give grace in the way you want others to give you grace!