I wrote this story in 2008 while my husband and I were serving in Tanzania, East Africa. Are you a h.e.a.r.t. alum with a story to tell? We’d love to hear it and share it! Email me anytime.
My spirit was troubled today.
I went to town on Monday with the teacher at our tailoring school to buy sewing machines. The customer service that we received was TER.RI.BLE and what seemed like an easy outing turned into a whole day affair. My patience was worn thin, it was really hot, and by the end of the day I was really irritated with the sales people. They seemed to be making things much more difficult than it needed to be. By my 5th and final trip into town to pick up the last of the machines, I was snippy and on the verge of rude with them. I justified it by saying that the service was bad, and I was just trying to get what was owed to me. Even still, my spirit was troubled by the fact that I had not represented well the One I follow. It didn’t help that plastered on the side of the car in big letters is “Kanisa la Mungu la Tanzania” (Church of God of Tanzania), so there was absolutely no hiding who I am here to work with and WHO I work for.
As I read Scripture last night, my heart was stirred by Proverbs 28:13. “He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion.”
In my spirit, I knew that I needed to go back to the store and tell the clerk I was sorry and ask him to forgive me. I tried to weasel my way out of it, justifying my behavior by the fact that they started it. But then my heart was reminded by the Scripture that says if your brother has anything against you, you should drop what you are doing and go and make it right with him.
It doesn’t really matter who started it. If I know that there is something between my “brother” and I, I need to take the responsibility to try to make it right.
It’s always been relatively easy for me to obey God in the big things in life…like packing up and moving to Africa, for example, but in the little everyday things like going back to a store and asking the clerk to forgive me for being a snob…that’s where it gets tough.
So…I went to town today, and wouldn’t you know, the clerk was standing outside waiting for customers. I parked the “Kanisa la Mungu la Tanzania” car and walked up to him. He seemed a little nervous to see me again until I said,
“I just wanted to come back today to tell you that I’m sorry for being rude the other day and ask you to forgive me.”
His response? “Oh, it’s no big deal. It’s just business.”
But I said to him, “it would do my heart a lot of good to know that you’ve forgiven me.”
He smiled and replied, “it’s no problem. I forgive you.”
We shook hands and I was off again. This time with a lot less baggage.
Not a big deal? Maybe to him. But I know in my spirit that I was obedient in the little things today, and
that’s a big deal to me.
Post by Heather Webb