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Thursday, July 19, 2012

What a Thief taught me this week...

Thanks to all of your thoughts and prayers as someone stole my wallet and phone out of my purse Tuesday night.  The initial shock of seeing empty accounts was a bit horrifying, but thankfully all of the money they used on our debit/credit cards will be given back to our accounts once we fill out the fraud papers. 

Jon was able to stay home and drive me all the places we needed to go and the boys behaved BEAUTIFULLY. Isaac wants to be a police officer and Ben wants to be a police scientist, so they had fun visiting the police station. :) When I  am stressed I tend to become blonder than usual and without Jon would have forgotten my own name that day.
 I can't even imagine what we would do if we were responsible for the $3,000 plus they charged. We have big praises that because of our Dave Ramsey Cash system our credit union and credit card company immediately saw the fraud and we will have no problems proving we didn't make the purchases. Another huge praise is that our withdrawn cash was in a coupon organizer in my purse, and the thief ignored it, and went for the wallet.

My verse this situation has been Proverbs 1:5:
" Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance--"

This week in Bible Study we are learning about being teachable.   Our definition of teachable is to always seek to learn new things. With this in mind, I am trying to see what I an to learn in this situation.

The credit card money spent will be covered, but the money that is really just gone is the $150+ I just spent for my fancy new phone. We replaced it for a less fancy phone $60 phone last night, but the other is just lost money.
  In all things we are suppose to learn, so I think I am suppose to be learning to live simply & not put hope in material objects.  I had upgraded my phone two months ago, and it was my first upgrade in 3 years. I qualified for a free cheaper phone, and if I had not gone over my discount price and been a bit prideful in thinking I "deserved" a fancy touch- phone, then two months ago I would have gotten the phone I just bought for $60  last night for free.  Of course I am not trying to have false humility or shame anyone who has a nice phone, but knowing my own finances I see in hindsight my upgrade was out of our budget and I should have been thankful for the discounted upgrade.

My little wallet and a phone is nothing compared to the scams and robberies happening everyday all over out state and world. I gave new mercy for the feeling of violation you have when someone steals from you. 

 I am also trying to forgive and have mercy on the person who brazenly took the wallet and phone out of my purse.  The mercy part of me want so believe that seeing the picture of my little boys in the wallet or my many receipts from Goodwill and Aldi's would have somehow given them pause, maybe helped them see they were not stealing from the rich, but I know that isn't realistic.

I know it isn't realistic because there is a also deeper more specific empathy I am suppose to learning in this situation.  I have no right to judge a thief because before I came to really commit my life to Christ, I was also a thief.  In May, God convicted me of making retribution to a boss I stole from in high school.  I slowly took little amounts out of our money belt over 4 years to pay for lunches and dinners.  They were very small amounts but over time added up, and I violated his trust. I justified it by thinking how he was overworking me or not paying me enough  or he was a wealthy man. In truth, I was a teenager who had no idea what his wealth was, and his wealth, or lack thereof, never excuses theft. I didn't know why, but two months ago I had a fresh conviction. It is 2 months later,  I have yet to send the check and letter, even though they are ready to be mailed.

 I think I am suppose to be learning the value of retribution, and not judging those who make bad decisions. I have a deeper empathy for my boss, and as soon as our accounts are set right will sending him his money. I am reminded we have no room to judge anyone else, because you may not have been a thief, but you have sinned and have made decisions that hurt others.

Thank you again for all your thoughts and prayers.  Please pray that the the thief that they may one day learn something from this situation.

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