It wasn't me, honest!
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
I have an interesting job. I fix furniture. My clients are residential consumers, furniture stores, and furniture manufactures. I take care of their moving damage, warranty work, and delivery mishaps. It provides me with feeling of accomplishment and the pride of being self employed. However, it isn't the furniture that makes my job interesting. Like most occupations, It is the human element that keeps me awake. People provide the challenges and the enjoyment to my every day routine. With out them my job would boar me to tears.
My clients can be broken down into two opposing groups. The people who break furniture and the people who pay for the furniture to be repaired. Along with repairing the furniture, it is my job to assess the cause of the damage. Far too often I find myself smack dab in the middle of a conflict. A war of sorts, that rages between the two groups. The fight is over who will accept responsibility for the damage. The casualty of this war is usually someone's checkbook.
If the problem was caused by the delivery team, the furniture store pays for the repair. If the problem is a manufacturing defect the manufacturer pays for the repair. If the consumer broke it or is simply expecting too much from the product then the consumer has the option to pay for a "custom adjustment" or a repair. As you can imagine, no one seems to remember causing the damage.
After 9 years of this, I am forced to believe that my clients suffer from a contagious form of selective amnesia. Either that, or there are little elves who damage furniture when they are not making shoes. If the consumer did it, they say the delivery team did it when bringing it in the house. If the delivery team did it they say that it came out of the box that way, and on it goes. I discovered early on that I would have to be a furniture detective as well and a furniture repairman.
Accepting responsibility for ones actions should be considered a superpower. For sure it is a virtue; and a rear one at that! The majority of people would rather blame others instead of owning up to their mistakes. I don't even ask any more. In most cases I can look at the furniture and connect the dots. It makes me feel like Sherlock Holmes.
One of the keys to accepting responsibility is Honesty. Every Once in a while the offending party will admit that they caused the damage. This is either because it is so obvious that they or another member of the family did it, denying it would make them look foolish (i.e. cat scratches) or they were seen damaging the furniture and can't get out of it (delivery guys). Or God bless em, they simply want to be truthful.
Those who just want to be truthful are the precious few. They are the ones I feel for and hurt for...really! But unfortunately, I still have to charge them! You see honesty doesn't pay in cash. We gain no monetary reward for honesty. In fact, I have found that doing what is right usually costs money. This is why 2 Thessalonians 3:13 admonishes us to “Never tire of doing what is right". The truth is, if it made us rich, we would not have to be told.
Fortunately, most issues can be resolved in a peaceful manner. But every once in awhile the pressure from one or both of the parties gets pretty intense. For me, the temptation to take the path of least resistance by placing the blame on the party who I know will complain the least or on the party who pays the best is always there. Telling an angry consumer that there is nothing wrong with the product is pretty scary. Telling the store, whom I need for continued business, that they will have to purchase a replacement multi-thousand dollar china because their delivery team damaged the one in the consumers house so badly that it can’t be repaired, are examples of moral opportunities that put me at risk for persecution.
blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
Every day and with every client my honesty is put to the test and I am forced to make a decision to do what is right. In the end, it boils down to trust. You see even though my customers have to take it on the chin from time to time they know that I am telling them the truth. My track record reassures most. If I am unwilling to cheat for them, they know they aren’t being cheated.
I have lost accounts because I refused to lie on their behalf. One company had a total of 8 stores 4 of them were in my service area. They were responsible for half my income. I worked with them for about 5 years. Then over a period of 6 months they slowly stopped using my services. During that 6 month period I had some unusual pressure from one of their owner/managers to throw the problems toward the manufacture. About a year later, a reliable source told me that they felt that the quality of my work was second to none but my insistence on "going by the book" cost me the account. The store ended up picking up a service center that was willing to cheat on the stores behalf. It has been 3 years since they dropped me. Currently this furniture outlet has lost 4 stores. Kind-a makes you wonder?
We do not do what is right because it will gain us eternal life. Nor does it make God love us more. We know that he already loves us fully and that our salvation was secured by God's grace through faith in the blood of Jesus. We strive to do what is right because it is our duty to do so. It is something we must choose to do. For sure it does not come naturally, nor is it easy. We strive to walk uprightly because we do not want to make God look bad. We want to protect his reputation. We do good works because we know it pleases Him. It is our way of showing Him that we love him.
"If you love me, you will obey what I command
It is my desire to encourage those who demonstrate their love for God by doing what is right. To pat you on the back when you live according to scripture even when it costs you. I would love to pray for you and to inspire you to not give up. Feel free to drop me a note and let me know how I can pray for you. I would love to hear from you. Also, I would live to hear your testimony. Have you endured persecution for righteousness sake. If so, share it with me. Your story will encourage me as well.
Take heart child of God. I believe that we, in this life and the next, will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Your Brother in Christ.
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