OK this is an angry rant that I will share...maybe...if the language is clean. I just spent about two hours on the phone (and you know I just love being on the phone) trying to straighten out our TV/internet bill. I won’t tell you the company but the name has an “A” in it and two “T’s” just for a hint:) The hard part is this whole ordeal came from a lie...I was lied to...to make a sale...not unusual I guess. Sad. I was quoted a price, a low price, to join this company for my internet service and TV. Now Barb and I had gone for quite a while without TV and really were quite content but this was pretty sweet deal...I thought. How could a guy come into my own home without me calling him and then just lie to me? I know to make a sale...well he did. Lying...again right in my own home to my face...with no conscious...well I can say for sure he was not a follower of Jesus from our discussion...but still.
What is it inside of us that makes lying so appealing...is it the sale..sure in this case, and you know it was a you a young guy with a family and he makes money from the sale...not making new friends? I guess I struggle with the question, would I lie to make a sale? To improve my stature in the eyes of others? To move up the proverbial ladder? I don’t think so...but...except for the grace of God maybe I go there. But the grace of God should empower us to say no to ungodliness, right? Paul says so in Titus...so it is in the Bible. This guy did not have the grace of God working on his behalf and I do...so do you...is it working? Is God’s grace directing you away from ungodly acts?
I know when I was on the phone I wanted to scream and swear (well not swear too much) and try to bully someone to at least recognize I had been lied to and by their company. The first four people I talked to (that’s right four with one more to come) kept telling me, “Well according to your bill this is the correct amount.” And I kept saying, “Well according to what I was quoted it is wrong!” (See no swear words) Back and forth, from one person to the next the same line, “Your bill is correct.” I realized later all I really wanted or needed really was a listening ear, someone to actually hear what I was saying and tell me I had been lied to and they were so sorry. Finally the last person they put me in contact got on the line. Now you know if I was him and could see I had already talked to four of his peers before him, I would have asked for a bathroom break or left sick...but he waded in. And he listened to me...he heard me...he believed me...he worked with me...he knew I had been lied to. Finally. And he worked with me...he did what he could with no promises he could not keep. It was so refreshing to just be heard...to sense some empathy coming from the other end of the phone. He had the same pat answers available to him the others had and yet refused to use them. Even if he came back and said there was nothing he could do it was huge knowing he understood and refused to fall back on cliches and systems in place to try to placate an angry customer.
I wonder how often I have came across people that just needed an ear to hear, no answers or counseling, just to be heard. Someone treated them unjustly...maybe even another leader in the church...maybe me. How often have I slipped into my Christian mode and let fly with some cliche...I will pray for you...God will work good for you...or worse. When just being heard could bring healing, empathy shown without trying to answer and make everything better. Listen.
I despise being lied to...to make a sale...to cover a sin...to promote themselves. I think one of the reasons politics leave me feeling so uncomfortable is all the promises being made with no intentions of being kept...isn’t that lying? Feels like it to me. And I have to say right beside being lied to is not being heard or listened to...just hear me out. I feel valued and honored if I am listened to and I suspect others do also. Father I repent for times I quit listening maybe so I could say something that I thought would help. You know as I think about prayer I realize God rarely interrupts, even the most selfish of prayers, but listens and hears...then maybe He responds...or maybe He just listens and you feel the silent nod that He understands...and is on our side.
Well, this has been quite a ramble hasn’t it...cheaper than counseling. Sor...no I am not sorry...it is my blog and I can rant about whatever I want! Don’t you ever wonder what life would be like if we just knew no one would ever lie to us? And that when I had a need or had been treated unjustly or poorly I could go to someone and they would hear? The hard part is the church should be that place...