Saturday, December 01, 2012

Do Not Be Offended (Part 1)

Hatred stirs up conflicts, but love covers all offenses.  - Proverbs 10:12 HCSB

A couple of weeks ago I watched a story online about a man who had donated a bag of clothes and shoes to a Goodwill store in Texas. Unbeknownst to the man, his wife had hidden their life savings of $3300 in one of the shoes he had donated. A worker at the Goodwill found the money in the shoe when he started to arrange the items on shelves. The worker reported his find to his manager and they set the money aside, just in case someone came looking for it. A few days later the wife of the man who donated the shoes came into the Goodwill store and was able to claim the money after she answered a few questions.

That’s the way things are supposed to work, right? Somebody finds something that may have been lost and they set it aside so the proper owner can claim it. Yes, that’s the way it’s supposed to work, but we all know this world isn’t perfect and is filled will things/acts/sins that shouldn’t happen. No one was with the Goodwill worker when he found the money and he could have easily just put it in his pocket and no one would have known about it.

But, he didn’t. He did the right thing and in the online comments of this story many people were praising him for his honesty and integrity. One commenter left a message saying “May God bless you for your honesty.”, and another commenter’s response to that message puzzled me and started the gears going in my head. They responded by saying something along the lines of, “Keep God out of this. God has nothing to do with it. How do you know that the person wouldn’t be offended by you asking your God to bless him?”

The response confused me. How could anyone be offended by a heartfelt sentiment of good wishes for their well being? Even if you don’t believe in the God, deity, spirit, concept, etc. that the person is using to express their desire for your well being; you can still accept their sentiment in the spirit in which it was given.  Why would you look for offense where none was intended?

Those were the thoughts and questions going through my head when I started seeing a certain sentiment being shared on the internet. It was a sentiment that I have seen each Christmas season for many years. In fact, I must admit, it is a sentiment that I once believed myself until I did a little research on the history of Christmas (which is a great subject for another post). What is that sentiment?

You’ll have to wait for my next post, because this post is already getting long. . .

(If you haven't figured it out already, don’t worry, I won’t leave you hanging for long. The next post is already written, mostly.)

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