Monday, May 19, 2008

~ A Lesson in Humility and Integrity~

Do you find it hard to admit when you are WRONG?

But, do you find once you do admit you've been wrong about something or you've taken ownership in something, that you feel better?

Listen to this story that I found on this very subject:

The three hardest tasks in the world are neither physical feats nor intellectual achievements, but moral acts: to return love for hate, to include the excluded, and to say, "I was wrong."
You wouldn’t get any argument from me about these three practices presenting us with frequent challenges. They are, in my estimation, rooted in biblical principles. Each seems to bring both the life and teaching of Jesus into focus. Reflecting on this is encouraging in and of itself.

The other day I witnessed an extraordinary scene involving the third item on the list. I was filling out a deposit slip, while standing at one of those little tables in the bank lobby. Shortly after I picked up the pen, I heard a male voice asking the manager, who was walking through the lobby, if she had a moment. She stopped and they began to converse.

He quickly recounted a story with which she was familiar. The long story made short: He had made a deposit the previous Friday. He believed the drive through teller shorted by $60. Evidently, he was quite insistent and convincing in asserting this belief, because the bank had given him the $60 he thought he was due.

I kept my head down, pretending I was still working on my deposit. I really just wanted to hear how this was going to turn out. Well, he went on to explain that he and his wife were cleaning their car on Sunday afternoon when he discovered three $20 bills had slipped into a crack behind a cup holder. He was clearly embarrassed about the whole matter.

When he handed the money to the manager he stated, “I was wrong.” The conversation was heartwarming. He then went on to say that he felt like he needed to apologize to everyone who was in the bank that afternoon. The manager assured him this was unnecessary. He stated that he would have it no other way. He asked the manager if she would offer his apologies to each one. Again, she said it really wasn’t necessary. But she indicated that she would be sure to do so.

By this time everyone in the small branch was tuned in to what was going on. I was no longer pretending to be minding my own business, either. The man then asked if the manager would mind if he spoke to the teller with whom he had previously done business. She had abandoned her post at the drive through window to listen to her client’s mea culpa. The manager consented.
She smiled as he approached. He stepped up to the counter and spoke in subdued tones. “I was wrong,” he said. She nodded as her smile grew. He then added, “I am so sorry. Would you please forgive me?”

“Yes. It is really no problem,” she said. She then added, “Thank you for coming in.”
As he walked passed me on his way to the exit, the look of relief on his face was unmistakable. I don’t know anything about this man, but I felt like he had given us all a lesson in humility and integrity. Indeed, I felt like I had seen Jesus shining through his life. It also made me desire to go and do likewise. (Written by Bill Williams May 24, 2007)

We've probably all been in this place at one time or another. How often in conflict do all parties involved have some ownership?

Philippians 2:3 ~ Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.

Proverbs 11:13 ~ 12 Mean-spirited slander is heartless; quiet discretion accompanies good sense. 13 A gadabout gossip can't be trusted with a secret, but someone of integrity won't violate a confidence. 14 Without good direction, people lose their way; the more wise counsel you follow, the better your chances.

Isn't our time and effort better spent focusing on God and others, rather than ourselves?

A couple of months ago on a Brain Tumor organization website a woman sent out an email. In the email she stated that her mother had passed away some time ago as a result of a brain tumor (GBM). As a result of her mother having had a brain tumor and passing away she has started a ministry. She and a number of other women now make what is called "Patchwork Prayer Quilts." In this email she asked if anyone was in need or if we knew of anyone who needed a prayer quilt. Since my sister is fighting this very same cancer, I emailed her and asked if she would make a quilt for Jan. I had wanted it to be a surprise, but I felt it better to let Jan pick the colors for her quilt.

We started a blog for Jan so our friends and family could check up on her, see what needs she has and also what PRAISES she has. My new quilter friend while checking on Jan found that our cousin's 6-month-old baby girl was having open heart surgery and asked if they could make Gracie a quilt as well.

Jan's quilt came to my house today. Gracie's quilt was mailed out this morning as well. Talk about focusing on other people.

I had forgotten until I opened the package today to look at Jan's quilt about what they do when they make the quilts and what families and friends can do.

There was a note inside which read:

"Patchwork Prayers is a simple idea with powerful results. The warmth of the quilt comes from the prayers tied into each knot on the quilt. As the quilt was made and the knots were tied, prayers were said for Jan.

When Jan receives her quilt, her family can tie a knot on the quilt and say a prayer for her. When she has visitors, they can tie a knot and say a prayer for her. She will then be wrapped in love and prayers."

I called Jan tonight and we talked a bit about her quilt. I read her the note. I know how special it is to me that someone I DO NOT EVEN KNOW took their time and money or money that was donated, as well as took time to pray while tying knots in this quilt for my sister who is fighting for her life, but I can't begin to imagine what it means to Jan.

She is going through an extremely difficult time. She needs all this support and love, and then some.

Thank you Marta, Charlotte's Garden and especially Thank you Gailya for focusing on my sister by praying and making this quilt for her. May the Lord bless you!


Susan said...

Hey Cheryl,

Thanks so much for stopping by the other day! Jordan is doing well, praise GOD!!

I was so sorry to read about your sister. I'll check and see if you have a link to her site so I can go over there and encourage her.

Meanwhile I will keep her and the baby you mentioned in prayer.

Thanks for sharing that AMAZING testimony about the guy at the bank. We all know He was a CHRISTIAN!

The word says the world shall know us by our testimony and our love.

Hope you are having a good day♥

MyJourneyBack said...

Hi Cheryl,
Thanks for stopping over for WFW. It is nice to meet you and I love your blog you have a wonderful testimony going here. Can you let me know how to contact the people about the prayer quilt? In my ministry I teach girls to make quilts and give them to charity. I would love to incorporate this in our ministry. Thank so much for sharing. I will be praying for your sister. I hope your day is Blessed. Sherry