August 21 – How the Big One Got Away

 Let not mercy and kindness [shutting out all hatred and selfishness] and truth [shutting out all deliberate hypocrisy or falsehood] forsake you; bind them about your neck, write them upon the tablet of your heart. Proverbs 3:3

A dear friend told me about a man he did business with years ago. For all practical purposes, they were what you’d call “business friendly.”

The man was in custodial service and decided to expand his company. So he bought a couple of vans, doubled up on his machinery, and increased his employees.

He wasn’t a newcomer to the industry and he provided a good service, so with the “growth modifications,” business took off.

But somehow, in the area of bookkeeping, he failed to pay the proper amount of worker’s compensation for three years!

Because business was so good, he hired an accountant to make sure everything was on the up and up…and that’s when he got the news.

It rocked him. All of a sudden, the strides he’d been making looked an awful lot like a prison cell. He could see no way to pay the money back and stay in business.

To make a very long story short, with the help of his accountant, a good legal defense, and prayer, “grace” was extended by the government, fines were reduced considerably, and incriminating charges dismissed. Life was good.

However, when my dear friend related this story to me, he dropped a bomb that I was not expecting. You see, the businessman who experienced grace for his mistake and was forgiven this huge debt, sued my friend for just $150 worth of charges that he accidentally overlooked on his office cleaning bill he pays once a year. The businessman had raised his rates after a few years and my buddy just wrote the check habitually for the normal amount without reading the bill.

But instead of calling and extending mercy for what was obviously an oversight by my friend (his loyal customer), he let the grace he’d been given “get away.”

As I listened, I initially sided with my friend, yet in an instant, I realized I was that guy! God only knows how many times I had been shown mercy in the midst of a mistake and still turned right around and was unwilling to “let it go” when I was wronged.

Wow! My prayer today is a binding one. Yes, I want to walk in truth. And yes, I want to call black, black, and white, white. But I desperately need to be able to recognize when to “be okay with the grey” because many times in life “grey” will play a part.