I’m a single mom that is running out of ideas on how to make money, and so I started selling things that I did not need on eBay, and from there I went out and bought things especially to sell on eBay and made a little money. Then something went wrong, I had honestly listed a product which somebody paid $44 for and then when they got it they were unhappy. The tried to return it but I said no. EBay, however, said I had to refund them and pay for the return shipping also, which means I had paid instead of being paid. It was a big deal and I was frustrated that I hadn’t made any money but rather had lost. This wasn’t the point. Within that same week, a seller gypped me by claiming that an item worked and yet it was missing a crucial piece in the listing, meaning that it didn’t work at all. I went through the dispute process with eBay who gave me a refund but did not make the seller refund me.
I felt mean and vindictive because I had wanted him to be forced to refund it after being dishonest because I had had to when I was being honest, and well, it just wasn’t fair that he didn’t have to pay for his dishonesty. But the situation got me thinking that this was the perfect chance I had to wish grace rather than loss on this seller. He had done me wrong blatantly and on purpose and it seems as if he got away with it. I am a pacifist and I’m also non-resistant, and yet I can be violent in my mood, attitude and words which is still violence and still needs to be dealt with in my heart.
I don’t try to solve problems trying to start a fist fight, but I often use my words to start a verbal fight; which is just as bad as a physically violent brawl. I need to eliminate all violence from my life: violent thoughts and attitudes. Instead I need to respond, even in my thoughts, with grace. The book of James says that our sin begins in our hearts, a thought is conceived and it grows and then is birthed as an angry explosion. The heart: that’s where it starts. Those violent thoughts, feelings and moods, which make me a violent person even if I never physically hurt anybody. I need to offer grace instead of vindictiveness, even just in my own mind; because what is in my heart is going to come out of my mouth and I crave grace for myself and need to give it to others.
I need to get rid of the violence: to know that I am not always right and my argument isn’t always the right one and that people are far more precious and valuable to God than they are to me. I need to get rid of the violence when someone pulls out in front of me in traffic instead of swearing loudly and flipping them off. Like James says: unchecked anger in the heart conceives and gives birth to violence and violence brings death. Likewise; grace in the heart conceives and gives birth to kindness and results in life.