By Allen White
Woe to you, blind guides! You say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gold of the temple is bound by that oath.’ You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred? You also say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gift on the altar is bound by that oath.’ You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? Matthew 23:16-19
I’ve nearly given up on money back guarantees and even warranties for that matter. And, extended warranties, forget it. More often than not, warranties aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on. They’re a nice guarantee until something actually breaks.
If something breaks, warranties might cover the parts, but you might have to pay for the labor at $1,000 per hour. If something breaks because you broke it, more than likely nothing will be covered because you improperly used the electronic device by dropping it. If you use an mp3 player as a football during a fit of excessive jubilation, the warranty is voided.
But, do we ever pad our guarantees? “Well, that’s not what I actually said.” “I don’t remember it that way.”
Every one of us makes mistakes. We all fall short. When we fail, the best strategy is not a strategy. We just own up to it. Rather than trying to weasel out of it by finding some loophole in the logic, we need to just own it.
The world has grown weary of imperfect Christians pretending that they’re perfect. Integrity says, “I’m not perfect. I messed up. I feel bad about it, and I will do what I can to make it right.” Then, actually do it. Integrity is not perfection. Pretending to have integrity is also not integrity.
Any time we find ourselves carefully choosing our words, we have moved from honesty to politics. Now, this isn’t license to offend everyone who comes across our paths. But, carefully couching our words in phrases that will let us off the hook is no substitute for honesty.
No one should have to seek an extended warranty on our commitments in the event that we fail. Whether we succeed or fail, we should take responsibility for our actions. Our stumbles cause us to grow far more than our successes.
If the other person would rather rub your nose in it than accept your apology, well, that is on them. Believers shouldn’t enter into games of gotcha. God desires better than that for us.
What is the quality of your commitments? Do you follow through or make excuses? When you fail, do you own up to your actions or do you try to find a way out?
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