Recently, I had a situation with an online points website. I earned my rewards certificate and submitted my order and waited.
And waited some more.
Nothing ever showed up. I looked into the process to have it sent again and finally it arrived.
I put in the free code on Amazon (woo hoo love me some free Amazon) and it was invalid–it said it had already been used.
I was not amused. I began to think about how many people use the site and if they send an invalid code to several people here and there, it must add up to a great savings for themselves.
Thieves! Cheaters! Liars! I really was getting worked up and I KNEW that I had not received the code. I also KNEW that they sent me an invalid code.
I considered a social media campaign to warn others of their nefarious deeds. (I knew their motive was to save a few bucks here and there by cheating honest users out of their points).
My motive was only to warn people so that they too wouldn’t be taken in by this site that by all appearances seemed wonderful. Other people I know had never had a bad experience with them, but I knew under that veneer was a boiling mess of thieves and cheats. People needed to know this!
I needed to let them know I was onto them……..so……..I sent an email. It was a nice email–really it was! I said I was displeased that they sent me an invalid code and that I was disappointed that while they seemed to be reputable, they were indeed not and that I didn’t think it was fair for them to tell me “Oh well……nothing we can do.”
A few seconds after I sent the email, I decided to examine the letters and numbers in the code. I went through my Amazon gift certificate history and my cheeks reddened.
I was WRONG. I was DEAD WRONG.
Even though I knew for certain I was right that I never received the gift certificate in the 1st place and even though I knew for certain that they were scamming people here and there to shave money off their bottom dollar and even though I sent them an email to let them know I KNEW all about them…… I was wrong.
I was wrong. I had already received and used the code weeks before. That could be why I though I didn’t receive it. I just entered it and completely forgot.
So, I stewed for weeks about it (ok not really, it’s not as if that’s the only thing I thought about or that I was consumed with it but bear with me for the point…..) I wasted time trying to prove to them their thievery and lying. And in the end, I probably looked foolish to them.
They knew they sent the code. They knew they sent the valid code. They knew whatever was going on was my perception of the situation.
And it was!
Could this ever happen in real life? I think so.
I think we can easily be tempted to be convinced of something in our own minds. We tell ourselves the story that we just KNOW to be true. We believe it. We tell other people they are wrong or whatever else we KNOW to be true.
When I took time to examine my situation, I discovered the story I believed was completely false. I knew no such thing that the company was stealing from me or trying to save money.
I don’t want to be the person who puts themselves in the place of God by claiming that I know what is going on in another person’s heart because only God knows our motives and the motives of others.
1 Corinthians 4:4, 5…but the one who examines me is the Lord.
Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes
who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts;
and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful…….and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Hopefully, this silly little gift certificate story of mine will remind me in the future when I want to assume to know what’s going on in another’s person’s life.
Does this mean that I think that there is never a time to speak to people? Absolutely not.
I’ve had wise people counsel and correct me many times in my life. I’ve had to speak truth to others as well. No, I’m not saying to never confront but when those times are necessary we have a plan to follow in the Bible and must be done with great prayer and great love.
1 Corinthians 13:5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Colossians 4:6 Let your conversation be always full of grace,seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.