Great Expectations

My name is Mark Smith. I'm a guy who loves Jesus, His Word, and His Church. I am filled with Great Expectations for what the future will ultimately bring - Matthew 24:14.

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Location: Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

My favourite verse is Psalm 16:11, my other favourite verse is Acts 20:24, my other favourite verse is Habakkuk 3:17-19, and my other favourite verse is Matthew 24:14.

Monday, September 18, 2006

How It All Went Down Part 2

At the risk of sounding defensive I will begin by saying:

I wouldn't say that I made any accusations right away - I just assumed that the most likely person to have taken it was the kids that ran off. So going to Misty's house I did not accuse but rather asked her if they had taken the iPod, assuring her that I was not upset or anything like that. (Maybe that just sounds like semantics but there was a real difference in my mind and attitude....)

Also, I did not have Chris' room searched. His mother did that without me even knowing. I never met his mother until the next day when she told me she had searched his room.

(Also, the iPod was in no way "beat up". It was just old but it worked like new other than the re-charging thing...but clearly that is outside of the main point here.)

In seeking to get it back, I simply asked nicely and assured Chris that I wasn't upset or going to call the cops (which was suggested to me...) or anything like that.

I hope that my effort to be nice and to re-assure them that I was not upset was a little different than the average person in the world that this kid may have stolen from before....


But now, having said that, I certainly did act out of emotion that night because though I never was upset I certainly was very disappointed. It was no fun at all to think of going from being able to play 60 different CDs in my car to going back to my 8 old tapes and the radio. I'm still disappointed. I don't think I've ever had something stolen from me before but I'm finding it's a strange feeling...I feel like I have been defrauded....

That night I was not able to recall Matthew 5:38-42 though obviously I know those verses well when I'm just sitting in my Sunday-best. Sad. Rather than thinking of them, I thought more along the lines of, "I shouldn't just leave it be because these kids need to learn that they can't just steal from people and get away with it lest they steal more and steal bigger things as they grow up." Is there some legitimacy to that thought? Yes, I think there is some. Maybe only some, but maybe at least you think? That is the same thought that I get in my head when I think of offering a free re-charge. Part of me thinks, "Don't do that - you can't reward him for stealing or he will get the wrong message!" Maybe some truth to that think?

Let's look at what Jesus said:

38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41 And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42 Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you."

I did get stolen from, but I think that verse 40 is referring not to just getting ripped-off, but to actually legitimately losing something in court. Young's Literal Translation says, "and whoever is willing to take thee to law, and thy coat to take -- suffer to him also the cloak" (emphasis mine). D.A. Carson points out, "At stake here is a principle: even those things which we regard as our rights by law we must be prepared to abandon." In that case, my right by law could be to charge Chris like someone suggested to me but I have certainly abandoned that idea. Perhaps my other right would be to go and ask for it back. I failed to abandon that right - indeed, I could not think clearly enough to even consider it at the time.

So as I've begun processing this and realizing that I did not act in the best way, I think of Proverbs 27:6, "Faithful are the wounds of a friend." It is a wound - feels like a bit of a slap - to be called out by a couple people in my blog - but Margaret is certainly my friend and is seeking to help, and though I don't know who "Anonymous" is I assume that he/she is friend too because he/she is certainly trying to help me do the right thing. And so the wounds are faithful and I thank you for them.

I don't think that I could give a free re-charge because I don't know where the iPod is and doubt that even if Chris had it he would trust me to re-charge it and give it back since it takes hours to re-charge and I doubt he has much experience of people keeping their word.

Perhaps what I can do now is go back to Chris' house and though I cannot offer a free re-charge, I could offer him a free CD of some Jesus music and offer some friendship and remind him that I'm not upset and remind him of the Kid's Club at church on Wednesday Night and invite him out once again.

Please comment on this post if you have some thoughts - and pray for Chris. And pray for me too. Exactley how rightly and how wrongly I acted on Tuesday Night I am still unsure of (wound me again if you think I should realize that I was totally wrong) - but for sure I don't always act rightly (in fact I think I never act fully rightly)...I feel just like Jim Elliot when he looked at himself and wrote in his journal, "what a rebel yet resides within."


Blogger Margaret said...

In an effort to temper the slap, regarding the term "accusation," I was referring to our collective reaction as a group, and not only you, Mark. I certainly felt that we were accusing, both in my own reaction, and in the fact that no one opposed the idea of going to their houses right away. And no one suggested an alternative to where the iPod might have gone (at least that I was aware of). Anyhow, whatever our immediate reaction might have been, I commend you for going over with the CD and the invitation--the extra step that separates us (the body of Christ) and you (in leadership) from the world. Thank you.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006 12:29:00 PM  

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