Forgiving “Even As Christ Forgave You?”

by Kevin Burton

   The school I worked at when I was an English teacher in Mexico had an odd split schedule.

   We had morning classes, evening classes and a few in the afternoon. The school was closed most of the afternoon for siesta time.     We also had Saturday a.m. classes.

   I did not love the Saturday a.m. classes. 

   Looking back, I can’t recall why I thought I had such a raging packed schedule that I couldn’t teach on Saturdays. 

   I bring this up because we just encountered a guy who perhaps, hated working Saturdays a whole lot more than I did.

   We had a contractor over to our house to bid on some projects we are planning. We explained to him that we were taking multiple bids and what we were looking for. But this guy starts arguing with us about everything that comes out of our mouths.

   At one point he said “obviously you know more about this than I do….”

   Well no, I do not actually. But one thing I did know at that point; I wouldn’t pay that clown a nickel for any reason under any circumstances.  We politely sent him packing.

   What kind of sales person acts like that?

   Maybe he didn’t want to work a Saturday. We had told him price was a main issue why we had not accepted a bid yet. Maybe he knows his company usually loses on price and wanted to cut to the chase.  Both those scenarios sound plausible to me.

   Maybe he thought if you can successfully browbeat a client, you can drive the price up.

   But this post isn’t really about home improvement. It’s about forgiveness.     

   I gave this rude sales guy and his company a little negative shoutout on my Facebook, but decided to let it rest there. My usual move is to post the problem in a few more public places, make a little more noise.

   But my wife said that maybe the guy’s attitude did not reflect that of the company as a whole. 

   Maybe the guy just had a bad day. I have had one or two of those, how about you?

   The virus has put a lot of pressure on a lot of people in the last six months.  I think people underestimate how much. People are on edge.

   Plus, another thing happened last week. A sports announcer named Thom Brennaman was suspended after a hot mic caught him saying an anti-gay slur over the air on a Reds television broadcast.

   He’s not my favorite announcer but he is the son of one of my favorites, longtime Reds radio announcer Marty Brennaman. So I regard Thom Brennaman as a “friend” in the way we come to think about these sports people.

   I am sick about it. 

   On a Reds fan site, people are saying “one strike doesn’t mean you’re out.” 

   That was my first thought. Be he didn’t insult my groups. Had he slurred blacks or blind/handicapped people I wouldn’t be thinking so charitably.

   I can’t defend that, but it is true.

   Add to all this, Brennaman’s “apology” was lame.   

   Just so you know, this isn’t one of those posts that will be tied up nice and tidy by the end.

   The Bible has a lot to say about forgiveness of course.  Here is Colossians 3:13: “bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.” (NKJV).

   OK, how has Christ forgiven me?  How about completely, sincerely, repeatedly.

   If the sales guy were to call us back and apologize, I would accept the apology but not include his company in our bid process. Is that how Jesus would do it?

   Should one very bad syllable end an announcer’s career? Should the Reds accept the apology but not put him back on the air?

   One blessing I saw from the whole contractor deal. You can apply this to all the bad jobs and relationships you have had over the years.

  Wouldn’t it be better to find out the other person is a jerk in the first five minutes?  At least that much was in our favor.

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