It’s cathartic to showcase my failures, so here goes another one. Learn from it.
EARLIER THIS MONTH: My credit card was compromised. While on the phone with the fraud protection unit disputing the charges, they mentioned one more that “seemed suspicious.” The description was vague, out-of-state, and for a similar amount. It was four months back and I didn’t recall any questionable activity at the time, but “They’re the experts,” I thought. It wasn’t my usual gas and groceries, so I agreed to add the occurence to the list. I thanked the representative for alerting me to the transaction, yet in the back of my mind, I questioned. I didn’t take the time to dig through statements to investigate and in the frustrating moment justified my decision.
This was a major blunder.
SATURDAY: My name shows up on the front page of the entertainment section of the newspaper, with a photo on a subsequent page. (This is not dreadful).
MONDAY: An email arrives in my inbox stating “A charge on your ______ was recently disputed through your bank… The dispute has been completed. You have been refunded and the products associated with the original charge have been removed.”
WEDNESDAY: I read that email. The product was my domain name.
Now it might not seem horribly bad to you, but this disturbs the functionality and accessibility of my blog, which many people find hope through. Because of the recent press, I was hoping that others would find this beacon of light and that their lives would be better because of it. I try to buy it a second time, but it’s “unavailable.” Of course, there is no phone support, so I submit a written request and wait… and wait… and near panic and wait.
What now? I begin to imagine suffering a catastrophic setback. Paranoia sets in, as if someone is out to get me. I sit in ruins on my still grungy sofa (see layers) and replay the scenes. Anger turns to regret, and regret gives way to remorse.
“If you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!”
~1 Corinthians 10:12
Guilt gnaws at my heart and I become conscience-stricken. I can’t believe I did that! Deep inside I suspected that “suspicious activity” could possibly be mine, but I didn’t want to take the effort to confirm it. Falling short of my personal expectations, shame speaks to me.
“Chris, you suck. You’re nothing but a screw-up, and that’s all you’ll ever be.”
As my aspirations come crashing down, I fall on my face (on my even grungier carpet) and repent. So much for my big talk! So much for a fresh start!
That’s when my thoughts are struck by our tender, merciful God. Wait a minute! I will not fall into that trap again! (See doubt.) I stand on weak knees and begin pacing my living room. I announce to myself that I am Chris Singleheart. God gave me that name and He has not taken it away. What He has taken away is my sin… by Jesus… who experienced a painful death… for me… and for you.
Are you facing consequences over a split second where you committed wrong? Are you desperate for a successful resolution? Every human being has a critical need for grace. It’s going to be okay. Confess. Believe. Push through. Try harder. People need you.
“A bruised reed He will not break,
and a smoldering wick He will not snuff out,
till He leads justice to victory.”