Well, it certainly didn’t take long into this new year for my resolution to be tested. I had determined that I would work harder at choosing love every day. (Romans 12:12-18) On the first day back to the office, there was an email telling me that my corporate credit card number had been stolen and used without my authorization. After further investigation, I determined that in the week before Christmas, someone used my card for over $3,000 in charges for food, gas, and probably presents, judging from the other place it was used. Of course, my first reaction was anger, and I even felt sick to my stomach, That’s a lot of money and there was no regard shown for the cardholder (me) or the responsible party (my company). After spending a good deal of time documenting the fraudulent charges, filling out paperwork and working with internal departments to cancel the card and request a new one, I took a break. I went out and got some fresh air as I decided to walk as I took care of an errand.
That’s when I started tuning in to the “love response” message that I had promised God I would adhere to this year. I began to think about who this person (or persons) might be and what would have prompted them to commit such an act. Perhaps it is a single mother with children to feed or an out-of-work father who feels he needs to provide for his family. Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely not condoning the action, I’m just trying to see it through another set of eyes and circumstances. Perhaps they don’t know the Lord and thought this was their only hope. As I thought about that possibility, I actually started to feel sad for them.
When I got back into the office, I was settling back into work and then I heard the song “Love Never Fails” by Brandon Heath. That song was recommended by a friend as one that could potentially be the undercurrent of this year of choosing love. Amazing, it played at just the right moment today.
Hearing that song jolted me right back to that place of forgiveness and mercy that I had promised God I would reside in. And it reminded me that every day, I need that forgiveness and mercy as much as anyone. Who am I to not offer it to another when God so freely gives it to me every day?
So, whoever it was that felt they needed to steal that number and use it for those purchases, I forgive you. Your heart needs my prayers more than I need to choose anger today. My prayer is that your heart will be convicted and you will come to know the real hope of life that is only found in Jesus Christ.
Today, I chose to love.