Had a sad moment today when I realized that I had been a victim of petty theft. Somebody had taken it upon themselves to get into my desk and remove a couple of items of mine. They were not big things, but they were my things. It saddened me, and it made me angry. Why? What gives them the right to take what was not theirs?
A few hours have gone by now since I realized my things were no longer mine. I’ve calmed down, and things are coming into FOCUS. My anger has faded, and I am now thinking about this in a bigger picture. Am I better than this person? Honestly, no. I have nicked a thing or two in my lifetime, and I’m sure I made someone else feel the same way I felt today. I’m not going to call that karma because I don’t believe in karma. It’s a depraved world – nothing more, nothing less.
The thing for me to FOCUS on today is not that I was robbed, but what my response was. I was angry – VERY angry about something that really wasn’t that big of a deal. It wasn’t the items that were taken as much as it was that someone had dared to take from ME! It was MINE! I wanted justice! Uh-Oh…
You see, when I want justice, I am putting myself in a spot where I am asking to be put under a microscope myself. I am climbing up onto a throne of judgement and I am going to let the hammer fall on someone. That might feel good, but is that the way to show grace? No. I want to be right in that moment, and I want justice for wrongs done against me, but in reality, the wrong was not against me, and I have no rights in it.
Once I had a chance to think about it, I realized that God must often feel the same way about me. He bought me with His Son’s blood, and now I belong to Him. My body and soul are no longer mine to control, but sometimes I steal control of my life. It’s not long term, and you could “rationalize” it and say I was only borrowing it, but the truth is, I steal control because I want it.
God has the right as a holy God to punish me, or even end me, but He responds to me with Grace. I might have to suffer some consequences, but He lets me have grace and forgives me, restores, me and grows me. His example of grace and mercy are provided for me so I know how to live and interact with those who are around me.
So, RELENTLESS LIVING demands that I shift that FOCUS off myself and put it on God. The thing to do is to FOCUS on the lesson that God has for me in this moment. Something temporal may have been taken form me, but in the midst of that, He also provides an opportunity for me to experience some eternal growth. In the end, that is a definite positive on the balance sheet.
I’m not sure if the person will step forward or try to return my things. All I know is that I’m thankful for a God that cares about me enough to talk to me and show me where I can grow even in something like this.