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Friday, January 21, 2011

Hit by Accident

“Give to everyone who asks of you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.” Luke 6:30 (NIV)

I live in New York and this is as far from a New Yorker’s mind as the LA Dodger’s in California, even though I remember when they were in NY. Anyway, though I know this passage well, it recently hit me like a ton of bricks and exposed an attitude problem I have.
What brought this to light was an accident that a friend of mine had. Several years ago he was rear-ended in his car, which caused brain trauma, whip lash and other unseen medial injuries. Because of this accident my friend was eventually unable to continue with his business, which required both mental and physical abilities he had lost.
Now he did bring his neighbor to court, but what was so unjust was that my friend lost the case. I was furious. I knew my friend had lost so much because of this accident, and I was really annoyed at the jury for being so ignorant and not realizing that just because they couldn’t see his injuries, they did exist. Oh, he had expert testimony and a good lawyer, but he still lost. I was so angry. This accident took away my friend’s livelihood, and I felt it so unfair. Why? Because I am a person who tends to demand what she wants. I hate to admit it, but it’s true. My friend on the other hand is soft-spoken and not as demanding. I know he was upset for a while, but what was so great was that he did not adopt a demanding or bitter attitude. He let the whole incident go. (If that had happened to me I would have been demanding a mistrial.)
I wanted to write a letter to the local newspaper to bring attention to the problem, but his family didn’t want me to. At the time I really didn’t understand why he didn’t pursue this further, now I understand. He wasn’t going to demand monetary compensation for what he had lost. He did what he could. When he didn’t get what was rightfully his, he didn’t carry on like a good New Yorker. No, he was going to be more of a Christian in his attitude than me, who wasn’t injured. I understand that my anger was for an injustice done to my friend, but it brings to light my demanding personality and a problem with the attitude of my heart . "For out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks" (Luke 6:45)
I take my hat off to my friend and his family who still suffer the consequences of this accident and injustice, and I pray that he and his family can continue to have the right attitude. It amazes me how they have have recovered from that incident. I know he taught me a valuable lesson about my own mind-set and spiritual condition of my heart. He gave me a greater understanding of this part of the Bible verse "if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back,” and how I can apply it to my everday life. Next time I’m on the phone with some big business I think ripped me off, I’m going to remember my friend and adopt a less demanding attitude. My family won’t recognize me!