I had an ‘interesting’ experience not long ago that challenged me in my ‘love walk’. A utility company had an issue with their billing and I did not receive a bill for two months. I received all my other utility bills and in the midst of other challenges (freak snowstorm in Texas that led to weeks of repairs due to frozen and broken home systems) I didn’t notice that I did not receive my bills. Thus, I did not pay that utility bill for two months.
I realized that I had not received my bills when I came home to find that the utility had been turned off to my home and would not be turned on again until I paid my missed bills. I had no problem paying them. I did have a problem with not receiving my bills and not receiving a notice that my utility would be disconnected.
I rushed up to the utilities’ office to pay my bill, but also to discuss why I did not receive my bills or receive a notice about the disconnection. It started out okay until I was told that my bills were sent and the disconnection notice had been sent. I explained that I did not receive them. That’s when things started to turn ‘ugly’. Well ugly for me. I didn’t cuss. I wasn’t abusive, but I did lose my temper. The person I spoke to was very condescending and very dismissive. I called them out on it. It was not pretty.
I paid my bill. My utility was turned back on within half an hour. All seemed well, except I was still very upset. I called a Christian friend to talk to and try to move past the anger and anxiety. I told her what had happened including calling the person out on being condescending. I said, I usually don’t get that mad and say things like that. She agreed and said, “Yeah, that’s not like you.”
She agreed with me about the situation. She agreed with my response to the situation in light of what happened and how I was treated. What I did and said wasn’t that bad, but it wasn’t me.
So a few days later I did something about it. I returned to the utilities office and apologized. Even after finding out that they had a history of not sending bills, or notices, and of disconnecting services over many years. When I apologized, the utility employee was kind and said that it wasn’t necessary because they “get that all the time.” I replied, that “that doesn’t make it right” in reference to my behavior.
Why did I apologize when I had every ‘right’ to be upset? I apologized because even if what happened to me was wrong, I did not want the situation to turn me into someone that I am not.
I try to live a life of love towards all people with His love and grace in my life. Love is patient and kind, it’s not rude or unmannerly… (1 Corinthians 13). I was not patient or kind. Maybe the situation was very unfair and being impatient and unkind was understandable, but it’s easy to love when everything is perfect, when everyone acts fairly, but God’s love is seen best when things are not perfect, when people are not fair. God’s love was best seen as Jesus was tortured and killed on a cross as an innocent man to pay for our sins. God’s love was seen when Jesus said, “Father, forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing” as He hung on the cross (Luke 23:34).
Why am I writing about this now? Because these days the challenges to walking in love are more frequent and the seriousness of the situations is ever increasing, especially the last year and the current year. The world is in turmoil.
In Matthew 24 Jesus said, “At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold…”
We are born of His seed. He is love. We are love. Let’s take His hand (His right hand which refers to His strength) and continue to walk in love no matter what the world throws at us.
PS… I didn’t mention what utility was disconnected, because I didn’t want people to figure out who I spoke to. Love covers (1 Peter 4:8)
PSS… I wrote this long past my bedtime so it may contain sloppy grammar, but I was more interested in getting this message out than getting the grammar correct. Maybe I’ll fix it in the morning. Good night.