#19 Okay, Life’s Unfair… So Where Do We Go From Here?

You slice the cake and I’ll decide which piece

If you’ve ever blurted the heartfelt statement “that’s unfair!” you’ve likely heard in response “well… life is unfair.” Believers know and agree that the rain falls on everyone. Yet we all long to be – hope to be, and even expect to be, treated with fairness. Even from a distance our heart aches at the sight of unfair behavior. But where does that expectation come from? Before you answer, take note: this subject is an iceberg chocked full of caverns and caveats – something to be carefully explored over time. The story below is a first step.

Loving my neighbor (with Jesus’s bullwhip)

A breathtaking miscalculation by a young neighbor severed the natural gas line beneath our living room. Within minutes our home was so flammable that answering the phone could have killed us. But because of a deadline our gas line was easier to break than my concentration. My wife stopped explaining and pulled me by the shirt sleeve away from my desk and through the front door. Our A/C unit had been wrestled to the ground by a black SUV and hogtied with the other end of that gas line. I dashed back inside to turn off the breaker and open windows but it was too late. My game face – the one that looks like Jesus, was dead on the floor from asphyxiation. Seconds later I was back outside; this time glaring at the wreckage as if it were a prison break with every guard asleep.

If sixteen years in the passenger seat is considered “driver training” then the SUV sitting atop our air unit wasn’t there by accident. Our neighbor’s son (the untrained driver) blew out his 16th candle, garnered a license and nearly blew up our home. His maiden voyage to the soccer field gave way to a circus maneuver that went no further than the side of our house. The fire department arrived in full hazmat regalia, unleashing a parade of arm-chair crisis managers into the street. Neighbors love this sort of thing.

The young man’s father turned to me as I approached and with a humorous expectation crossed his arms and chuckled… “Well neighbor, it’s time to get yourself a new unit.” But humor is an unfamiliar idiot when your house is about to explode (and you’re broke). My wife and I were equally frustrated but she was more overwhelmed by the opportunity to “be Jesus” to our neighbor. I just wanted to stripe the poor fellow with Jesus’s bullwhip, you know, the one from the temple? And I made it quite clear. But throwing stones sent ripples through my own countenance until its face bore the likeness of an unmade bed – scarcely covering my flesh. My wife took aim with insisting eyes, but her warning shots bounced away from that bed and fell (every one) to the ground.

To my neighbor’s defense rushed another neighbor from another street, making her way to my yard in hopes of inspiring the villagers (still other neighbors) to grab their torches and pitchforks – me being the monster. There were loud chants of “oh grow up” and “come on it was just an accident”. But after the kid destroyed our air unit, wiped out the utilities and nearly killed us, ridicule for not laughing it off in the first two minutes was a marked improvement on the hour.

The neighbor’s insurance adjustor was expected the next business day. Seven days and seven estimates later he knocked on our door with camera in hand. While shaking my hand he was shaking his head in disbelief over the condition of our unit. “I’ve never seen anything like it.” Scrolling through the images he continued shaking his head “I can’t wait to show these to the other adjustors.” I humored him hoping the bottom line wouldn’t take as long to reach as his arrival. With a nod of agreement he stopped abruptly and blurted… “You’ll need to call your homeowners insurance”. Our mouths fell open but nothing worth repeating fell out. “Call OUR homeowners insurance?” (If you’re reading between the lines look for a large deductible and a rate increase in that proposition.) “Sorry sir, it’s just our policy.”

My wife, the woman who’d been ready to be Jesus to our neighbor, was now ready to drive out this thief with that bullwhip – the one I’d stolen from Jesus. I think he escaped unharmed, but with an eight thousand dollar replacement cost, we had no choice but to agree to the hefty deductible and to live with higher rates. By this time our sense of fair expectation was road kill (left for dead) on the pity highway – a highway with toll booths on every exit – the further you travel the more expensive it gets. Stay with me…

Our adjustor arrived three days later with an expert, a partnering A/C company to help validate the process. We already had seven experts assess the damage and agree on the solution but certainly didn’t mind one more. By now we knew that federal law prohibited partially updating an obsolete system. Our safety and legal compliance required a full replacement. Hearing that for the eighth time made little difference to us – we thought.

To our surprise this final expert hinted that all seven of our estimates were fraudulent, suggesting that rebuilding was actually a better option because it would reduce the claim cost by half. And even though our system was ten years obsolete, matching parts could be located in junkyards. Wow! This is where unfair begins to feel downright criminal and we both break out the bullwhips. By the way, not one of the seven companies we contacted would touch the liability of trying to rebuild an obsolete system.

Now with a deep breath… (let’s recap)

My wife and children are in homeschool and I’m working in my office. Our neighbor who’s not quite ready to drive demolishes our gas line and A/C units. We narrowly escape our gas filled house without blowing it up. A few people are condemning me for lacking a sense of humor. The damages amount to eight thousand dollars. We have no A/C, heat or hot water for weeks. The neighbor’s insurance refuses to pay for it. Our own homeowners insurance has a one thousand dollar deductible. Our monthly rates increase by fifteen percent. Our Insurance preemptively offers enough to rebuild it with junkyard parts. And the kid next door who injured only his pride was now zipping past the mess he created with more confidence, in his new car!

Okay life is unfair… So where do we go from here?

There are generally two directions we can take: Attempt to “make -fair” the unfair circumstance or Leave it as-is and try to draw meaning from it. Either way, the origin is the same dark and hollow place. Until we move in one direction or the other, we’ll neither ease the pain nor gain understanding – so we have to move. But it’s how we make that decision that is most critical. In order to shed some light, we have to start by asking the right questions from the right perspective (as vineyard workers not holocaust victims) and applying brutal honesty to the answers. To that end, we must sincerely ask where the idea of fairness comes from. And only absolute honesty will provide enough clarity in that tunnel to distinguish between daylight and a speeding train. So, here it is… the truth: Jesus never taught us to be fair, or to expect it. That said, we can agree, disagree or simply say “I already knew that”. But before we can discuss it frankly, we have to take a look at our behavior. Behavior reflects what we truly believe more accurately than our words – even in trivial things.

“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” Matt 7:12 NASB.

Jesus clearly delivers to us His standard for loving others. I’m not suggesting that we’ve misunderstood that. I am suggesting that if we’re not careful, our flesh will gravitate subconsciously toward the best “me” outcome – viewing everything through a set of “how it affects me” lenses. Speaking for myself, when I read this passage I too know exactly what Jesus is saying. But without careful meditation, what my flesh latches onto is something slightly different – twisting the emphasis so that later, under pressure, I’m relying on a false expectation: “People will also treat me the way they would like to be treated.” And if I’m not careful, I’ll behave according to something slightly off parallel, that eventually shuttles my thinking in the opposite direction – possibly toward an oncoming train.

Here’s a quick allegory, using physical maturity, to illustrate the difference in how we reconcile what we say, with what we truly believe (spiritual maturity). Suppose you’re running at top speed and suddenly shoved to the ground, how do you react? If you are five you cry, if you are fifteen you seek revenge, if you are twenty five you seek answers, and if you are forty you see that God kept you from being run over by a city bus. Based on my initial behavior with my neighbor (with no time to apply my game face) my spiritual maturity was like that of the fifteen year old, while my wife’s behavior was like that of the forty year old. When my neighbor didn’t immediately meet my expectation, I reacted on what I really believe – no matter how many times I’ve agreed that life is not fair.

In that respect, how did you feel when you read what happened to us? What was your initial response? Without fail every person we’ve shared this story with has some version of the same response and remedy: “The neighbor should pay or help pay our deductible.” I certainly agree that it’s the only right and fair thing to do. But if I ask myself why, every honest answer leads me to the same perplexing place – and it’s not Jesus.

Bottom line:

Jesus doesn’t teach us to be fair, He teaches us to love even our enemy – to be more than fair to everyone, expecting nothing from men in return. And to be clear… fairness is not inconsistent with scripture, but holding it as a preeminent inalienable right, is. Perhaps our neighbor should pay or at least help with the deductible. Or perhaps he should say “well, you’re getting a new system for a thousand bucks, I did you a favor.” And I could see his point if he said that. But why does it matter who pays if I trust God completely? Think about this… If I believe the words of Matthew 6:33, why should I struggle or strive over the injustice or lack of fairness in our situation? I’m convinced that the longing we feel to be treated fairly is actually a longing for God’s love but until we know His love, we search for anything that will satisfy it quickly, including adding a twist on the scriptures.

Personal Note:

We prayed and God clearly gave us instructions – instructions that included nothing about compensation. In following His lead we sat down with the young man and his parents and told him it was okay – that we’d both made much worse mistakes as teens – all was forgiven. And I asked His parents to forgive me for my anger. We left without saying a word about compensation but trusting God to be our provider in yet another impossible situation. One week later the neighbor brought us a check that covered our deductible. The rest is HIS-story.

For prayer or encouragement please contact me by email: wakeupmyfaith@att.net   Or connect on facebook and Google+

About Kevin Adams

As a student of God's word, photographer and writer, my chief aim is to help followers of Christ apprehend a real and passionate faith through the study of His word, by simple illustration, and regular encouragement. And by this faith they might catch a vision of who God shaped them to become. This blog is an account of my own journey toward that real and passionate faith, starting at ground zero. I hope it will offer some encouragement to any who've set their mind on seeking God's face, whatever the cost.
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56 Responses to #19 Okay, Life’s Unfair… So Where Do We Go From Here?

  1. Leanna says:

    Kevin, this story is really resonating with me. Thank you for sharing in love and honesty your experience and the His- story. A Word I definitely needed to hear as we are walking through a neighbor situation of our own. Keep on keepin on!

    • Kevin Adams says:

      Wow, one of my favorite people on earth is struggling with a neighbor – well, knowing your tender heart its hard to believe, yet knowing our enemy its easy to see why. We miss you guys and are praying for you. Let us know how things are going. And thanks so much for your timely encouragement – it means everything, sister!!

  2. wendiwrites says:

    Kevin,

    I am blown away. The whole time I was reading your post, I was thinking, “OK, life isn’t fair, but there should be JUSTICE.” Working toward a just end is, in my mind, a bit different than being upset that life isn’t fair. But you and your wife showed mercy. It was mercy undeserved, in this reader’s opinion, and mercy undeserved is GRACE. In the end, you all were Jesus to your neighbor.

    If, after praying, you had received the message to seek justice, would you have done it? I’m curious…

    Grace and peace to you and your sweet family, Kevin.

    Muddy

    • Kevin Adams says:

      Hey Muddy – such a wonderful thing to look forward to as a new post goes out – getting the chance to hear from you! And i suppose that our goal is always to be Jesus and be graceful but we ( I ) seem to trip over my feet in the process most of the time – correction, ALL the time :-) To answer your question – well I would hope to follow what ever God tells me to do but i can say with great assurance that vengeance is always His – so, seeking justice sort of falls in the same boat as a default. Bless you my dear friend.

      • wendiwrites says:

        Dear MB,

        I tell you what, Kevin, this one has stayed with me a long time. I am certain that I would not have been as gracious as you and Holly. And I am just as certain that you did the right thing. Just look at the results!

        If Jesus sought justice (like I would), we would all be in a baaaad way. I will try to remember that.

        Maybe what makes me mad is that I feel like an injustice was done to my FRIENDS. But I guess it’s time for me to just get over my bad self, and recognize that you guys handled it beautifully. I have a lot to learn from you. (Ugh. I have so much to learn…)

        I am grateful to have “met” your family, and that I get to learn from your example.

        Blessings back at you,
        Muddy

  3. Michael says:

    Kevin: thanks for sharing this. I think there is something in all of us that cries out to be vindicated when we are treated unjustly (unfairly). I think you have definitely touched a nerve that we all can relate to.

    For nearly a year now I have been teaching how Jesus suffered unjustly when he died for our sins. Acts 8 tells us: “in his humiliation he was deprived of justice.” In 1 Peter 2:19-25, he is our example of suffering wrongfully, and the scripture says: “hereunto were we are called that we should follow in His footsteps.” This is not an easy thing to do but the Spirit of the Lord does work in such circumstances (as He has in you and Holly) to bring forth fruit to the glory of God and to strengthen our faith in the one who judges righteously.

    • Kevin Adams says:

      Thank you Michael for taking time to share that awesome heart that God has given you. And thank you so much for all those prayers that you and your precious bride have petitioned on our behalf. You are a true friend. Your comments are so pertinent and truth that need to not only be heard but to be lived by. Thanks for reminding me of the “why” we are also called to suffer. He is our King! thanks brother – love you much!

  4. Alex says:

    Always insightful and very thought provoking…Keep’em coming!

  5. Wow Kevin, what a great post!
    I’ve got to admit, when I read the first part I reacted like a fifteen-years-old…
    Thank you for sharing this story with us and for your insights. I learned a lot today, and I am bookmarking this post so I can get back to it whenever I think that life is unfair. Sometimes we need to be reminded again and again…
    God bless you and your family!

    • Kevin Adams says:

      Thanks Cris, having read your blog as well i know that you are no stranger to chasing and seeking God at whatever cost – somehow that 15 year old is good in the sense that it reveals the hooks that remain and at least we know that God is still at work on His precious beloved kids. I need reminding over and over – as you said we all do! Thank you sister and bless you!

  6. Sunganani says:

    Just had an encounter yesterday at a fuel queue (fuel scarcity has been going on on my country for the past 2 years…that’s no typo). Anyway, I left the place without fuel even though others were getting it. This attendant seems bent on not selling it to me for some reason.

    As I drove 6 km away to the next station that had it, I fought with the very thought of life not being fair. I decided to forgive that attendant as I drove there.

    Long story short, I was able to get fuel, to my heart’s content and we are okay for the next week…

    Thanks for the very timely post.

    • Kevin Adams says:

      Wow i hate to hear that about the fuel issue – that is not pleasant for sure. But as you have just proven God is always there to provide if we’ll simply let go – thanks your story is very encouraging to me.

  7. kurtvbeasley says:

    Just a great story/lesson Kevin! Thanks

    • Kevin Adams says:

      Kurt you are a guy that knows on top of knowing what “unfairness” tastes like – you are a man of God who has lived it. I’m honored to have you stop by and to be able to call you friend – bless you brother. Praying for you!

  8. Betsy Clark says:

    I must confess, I felt very much like the 15 yr. old on your behalf. So grateful for your end response – like Christ without the bullwhip! :) Also so very grateful for your neighbor’s ultimate response. I know there is still ongoing cost to you involved, but thankful for your example of keeping eternity in perspective and the value of your relationship with and example to your neighbors. Confident that the Lord will supply all your need and still never fail or forsake you. Thank you for sharing this story with such honesty. I think it hits a nerve with everyone who reads it!

    • Kevin Adams says:

      Thanks Betsy – and thanks for sharing the blog with others. As we all step out in faith we have to know that under neat that dark fog there is a rock to stand on. Having you and other faithful friends encourage always reminds me that the next step will be firm so long as it is aimed at His glory. Bless you and your family in your faith walk. yeah the 15 year old… there are a bunch of us!!

  9. Truly the evidence of faith lived out! Its never easy to trust in all situations, but trust we must. He owns a 1,000 cattle on a 1,000 hills. He knows, He sees, He hears & answers the prayers of His children.

    • Kevin Adams says:

      Thank you Sheri! I often think about those cattle on a thousand Hills and get lost trying to even comprehend what that looks like. What great reminder from scripture of His abundant provision for those who will wait. Bless you and thank you for taking time to encourage.

  10. rob says:

    Sitting in what feels like a sneaze infested germ central nut ward – jury duty downtown Memphis. Tipically known as the armpit of the south was a great time to read this. Like you Kevin; God requires us to work way outside our comfort zone in the areas where need to be reminded of our ignorance without HIM! It’s hard but shouldn’t be because we are shown every day the glory of his work through is. Remindes me of a song that to a non believer would be an oxy moron. Can’t take credit for the words but giving credit to God for the message.
    “It’s an inside outside upside-down KINGDOM where you have to go down if you want to go up, you have to go lower if you want to go higher, you have to lose of you want to gain and you have to die if you want to live.”
    In short I believe on a God that works through us in the trenches when he is also working on our brothers and sisters. Life “AIN’T” fair but the glory of God is just and knowing that he loves is enough.

    • Kevin Adams says:

      Brother and life long friend – that situation sounds rough. You hit the nail on the head – upside down is right side up! I’m so blessed that God called us to be friends and grow in Him together. Its an honor to have you comment. I love and respect you for how you have stood in the face of opposition the last few years. Thanks bro!! Bless you (surfing in heaven for sure)

  11. Okay, I’m totally convicted here. Kevin, this really showed me how I lean toward “fair” and reminded me what the Bible says about it. Even justice…which is a word partner with fairness—we have no guarantees of that in this life. Only Godly justification is ours and only through the grace of God. Very thought provoking post…

    • Kevin Adams says:

      Thank you Dineen! Yes, I thought many times of using the word “Justice” but kept getting the idea of civil rights and human rights – which is absolutely something that God call us to hold to. But then he reminded me of the vineyard workers and all the everyday things we expect from, do to or avoid doing for each other that is the “fairness” we battle with instead of giving it over. But even justice, In the end well, its all His to give – as you succinctly point out. bless you sister and than you for taking time – it really always means a lot to me.

  12. Sam Peebles says:

    Fairness is an interesting topic, we all want it, we all think we deserve it, and we all have different expectations as to a fair result. It is tough as Christians to examine our hearts sometimes, and I believe that many of us, myself included should examine this topic of fair. Bottom line, life will never be “fair” as long as Satan is around, he does everything he can to see to that, and he also does his best to get believers to focus on fairness instead of Christ. Anything that takes our focus off Christ and puts it on self is bad focus. We need to discover where we are in maturity as a Christian and let God through HIS WORD take us where we so need to be—Focused directly on His Son,which will lead us to love others more than self. We are Children of the Most High God who has promised us that He will be with us while we are here and He has won the war, the battles still rage and it is for our focus….

    • Jamie R. says:

      Sam and Kevin,
      Howdy! :) Good to see both of you on here.
      This was a subject I really needed to see you write about Kevin!! I’ve gone through several situations lately where things have felt really unfair, and I’ve felt like the odds were stacked against me. God has been showing me through all those things that — as Sam said — its all about HIm. One day while I was really feeling down about things, I got an email from someone with this tag line (a quote from Mother Teresa) “People will often forget the good you do today — do good anyway. You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God — it was never between you and them anyway.” Every situaiton we’re in… the way we act or react is at its root between us and God. Yes, the way we act affects others, but at the root of our actions is our motivation — are we striving to follow His lead or are we going to follow our own selfish desires? He is using every situation that happens to us to shape us and mold us and help us to grow into maturity,to learning how to follow Him more closely, if we will let Him.

      I love what you said about the way we’ve come to think of fairness as an inalienable right. Its not. And if I go around expecting that others are going to be nice to me because I was nice to them, or treat me fairly because I was fair with them… then I’m setting myself up for heartache. And if I don’t learn this lesson, then every time someome dissapoints me, I’ll become increasingly cynical and guarded. And this mindset will damage my relationships with others and with God as well. We’ve got to learn to listen to God,ask for wisdom in our dealings with others, and trust Him to work all things together for our good.

      Thanks, Kevin!God bless you! Keep writing!

      • Kevin Adams says:

        Love the “root” idea and totally agree! I’m really excited to hear from you Jamie and know that God is truly at work in your life – cant wait to see His blessing – still praying. Thanks for taking time to share – you are always an encouragement to me. Blessings!

    • Kevin Adams says:

      Thanks Sam – all about where we direct our focus – very good point my friend! Always a blessing to hear from you – Talk to you shortly brother!

  13. Amy Cordell says:

    Wow Kevin, I’m left with goosebumps. So thankful for God’s protection over your family and His provision in the deductible! I love reading your posts, thanks for sharing how God is working in your lives!!
    Be Blessed,
    Amy

    • Kevin Adams says:

      Thank you Amy – yes it was much worse than i thought (danger -wise) But God is always much better than we think. I really appreciate you taking time out to read and encourage – much love from all of us to all of you guys!! hope to talk to again soon my kind friend.

  14. I really needed this reminder to be faithful to be obedient and that God will take care of the provision. It’s very timely for our family right now—as we homeschool and deal with overwhelming situations of our own! Thanks, Kevin!

    • Kevin Adams says:

      Jennifer I’m truly honored to hear from you – I know how busy and hectic life can be – especially when you are homeschooling! It sincerely means a lot! Keep up the great work on your blog and may God give you rest and provision – exactly where you need it most. Blessings!

  15. While reading this I thought, “Oh wow, what a great testimony of being human yet relying on the Spirit”. Not 2 hours later a minor incident occurred and my first fleshly thought was “how unfair!” But a millisecond later I recalled your post and was able to become self-less and have peace in the Spirit. Thank you!

    • Kevin Adams says:

      Tammy – that is just the coolest thing to hear! Thanks for taking time to read the post and sharing your experience. It really blessed me and reminded me (something we need daily)! So… blessings to you my friend & a sincere thanks!

  16. Marji Laine says:

    I’ve always struggled with a sense of justice and a frustration over injustice. God whispers, “I’ve got this.” I still struggle, but I know the emotions will pass. Hard lesson to keep learning. Excellent post!

    • Kevin Adams says:

      Thanks Marji – yes it seems like if we’ll just pause long enough God will calm our heart – easier said i suppose… :-) Thanks for taking the time to share -it’s a real encouragement to me. Blessings!

  17. Brooke Stark says:

    It is a lot harder to proclaim the truths you are sharing when you are waking in the midst of “unfair.” Anyone can say the truths of Scripture, but few live them out loud. I know He grants His perfect peace in the sweet surrender to His justice on His time table, but it is never easy to get to that place. He is faithful to work it in us. Beautiful how He is working this in you and your family!

    Thank you, again, for ministering Christ through your blog and sharing with us His work in you. Prayers for your family!

    • Kevin Adams says:

      Thanks Brooke for those prayers and for taking time out to read these posts. You have a heart that is deeply respectful of and hungry for God’s word – i appreciate you keeping the focus on that foundation which is the only place to stand when the evil day visits our door. Many blessings to you and your family – thanks again!!

  18. bonnie leon says:

    Kevin, love your straight up truth telling. I absolutely relate.

    This is my first visit here, but it won’t be my last.

    Grace and peace to you.

    • Kevin Adams says:

      Bonnie – i am truly honored by your visit. It really encourages me that God continues to bring wisdom (new Godly friends) when i ask Him. I appreciate your willingness and am very very encouraged by it. Looking forward to more interaction w/ you as it please God. Blessings to you!

  19. Thanks for this relevant example of how to and how not to react as Jesus would have us toward our “neighbors,” be they people on our street or co-workers or what-have-you. Obviously you didn’t reconcile with your neighbors in order to receive monetary compensation, it just worked out that way. But that wouldn’t have happened if you hadn’t show compassion and forgiveness.

    • Kevin Adams says:

      Thank you Karen – it really means a lot that you stopped by. I think God helps me to remember the lesson by writing it down so i don’t have to keep reliving the same kind of thing in real life – i hope it helps others to do the same. Thanks for your encouragement to that end. Blessings!

  20. Lois says:

    Hey Kevin
    This is my first time. A frriend sent me the link. Your straight talking sober me up to what Jesus expects of us and also encouraged me to share my stories with others. Be encouraged as you go through your journey one day at a time. Blessings

  21. Emem Ofor says:

    Kevin,
    I am blessed by reading your post. I can’t tell you how many times I have shed tears because I felt I was treated unfairly and so on. But I am encouraged reading your story; my false expectation has been that people SHOULD treat me right because I treat them right. “Says who”!. At all times our place is to model Christ in spite of if people treat us right or wrong; fair or unfair; justly or unjustly. My faith has been bolstered, and I pray God that by his Grace he help me to temper my anger, feelings, emotions towards this unfair world with his Grace and Mercy. Afterall that is what he did for me.
    Thanks for sharing your story and I pray that you continue to walk in all God has for you. Be blessed.
    Emem

  22. Tom Wells says:

    Thanks Kevin for sharing your story…..amazingly blessed that I stumbled onto your blogposts. Appears that they are truly a blessing to many, including me. Blessings to you and your family as you continue to trust Him even more.

  23. Barb Abker says:

    Great, great story. Oh yes, that elephant in the room named forgiveness. When I learned about true forgiveness, it was a lesson I wished I had been able to learn before my mother passed away in 2003. I came from a very abusive home, but did not learn until a few years after my mother died that forgiveness extends not only to the living but also to those who have passed. What a blessing it was to have come to forgive in God’s perfect way. Couldn’t have done it any other way. With true forgiveness, we don’t walk out of the room when the offender comes in, nor do we avoid answering the phone. I learned that forgiveness either is, or it isn’t. There’s no middle road.

  24. I applaud your Christian walk through all this. I can’t say that I would have handled myself as well. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it; it was humorous and well written. Thx

  25. Great post, Kevin! Wow, when the rubber meets the road (or air-conditioner in your case), our true beliefs come out, don’t they?! I’ve found myself reacting with that 5-year-old mentality you mention – even when I ‘know’ better. Ugh! I agree with your assessment : “I’m convinced that the longing we feel to be treated fairly is actually a longing for God’s love but until we know His love, we search for anything that will satisfy it quickly, including adding a twist on the scriptures.”
    *Glad everything worked out for you!
    God bless,
    Maria I. Morgan

  26. Diana says:

    Funny I found your blog on a day where I am feeling that the circumstances I am currently facing are unfair to me. God certainly has a way of doing things. Thank you for your words.

    afragileclayjarwithatreasureinside.blogspot.com

  27. Nikole Hahn says:

    Nice! I was glad to see that the neighbor covered it. Anger does have a way of alienating people, but a kind word like forgiveness tends to open more doors. I’m glad this story had a happy ending.

  28. Megan Davis says:

    Kevin, as a latecomer to your blog I decided to jump 13 months ahead and read this most recent post. My first thought was ‘in Florida? in the middle of the SUMMER?” Yes. I qualify for the ‘fifteen year old’ award too. When we act like mature Christians to the culture we live in, the Lord is true and treats us like mature Christians. He cares more about our actions and the words that flow from our mouths than fairness. He knew He would triumph through you and this nasty situation because you and your family have proved so faithful in the past. This was a great lesson as I go forth with my ongoing ‘neighbor problem.’ Thanks!

  29. Kimi Henkel says:

    Well my friend, according to your formula I am reacting like my age, 40 (even though I feel 80) but I still cry like the 5 yr old can you decipher that? I am finding myself rejoicing and weeping almost in the same breath, I’m not quite sure what to call my new mental processes.

    Growing new taste buds is all I can come up with.
    Thanks for your transparency my brother! I/we (The Body) need that.

  30. God is faithful, even when we blow it! Although, I don’t think I know anyone who would have been able to pass this test! Sidenote: I always think of the rain in the scripture you mentioned as a positive thing, not a negative. It was an agricultural culture, rain was a blessing.

  31. Just getting around to reading this story…of course you did what every red blooded American male would do Christian or not…you got mad, wanted to get even and then your wife cooled you down…which is what wives do…what some wives do, not all.
    I had a similar experience. Our next door neighbor is a preacher…an active Christian(?) preacher man with a very large congregation and local following. We had gone on vacation a couple of years ago and upon our return noticed a number of missing Pine trees in the neighbor’s yard…and one missing tree in our own yard…a very large very full very healthy 40+ yr old Camphor tree. I marched over and asked straight up if they had our tree removed…he first said, “I don’t know what you mean.” He then followed up my second attempt at the truth with and emphatic, No!” Later he admitted to the act. Said it was a trash tree and served no purpose. Ahem…it was our trash tree though…and was clearly in our yard.
    I was ready to sue any and everyone who even knew about what had happened…I went ballistic…my wife had a different idea though…she wanted me to forgive them. Where’s the fun in that?
    All this to say that when cooler heads prevailed I finally decided on a couple of things…first off I openly forgave them (real tough to do by the way) secondly I believed God had another purpose for the neighbors that I was not privy to so I got out of His way…and third the episode rekindled my belief in my wife and the reason God put her into my life some 41 years ago. Without her I would have been a long time ago either in jail or dead or both.
    Truth is…I miss the tree because it shaded a large part of our backyard. Being obedient to God is not an easy thing to do but minding my wife was ever harder…:)

  32. Jackson says:

    very good
    brings back memories
    It is all about doing what is right
    thanks

    http://manupstudy.wordpress.com

  33. Maria says:

    I couldnt help but feel angry for you and your family. Not so much because of the accident which is just that, an accident, but the disdain with which the neighbor was treating the situation. Your words resonate with truth but are not easy to follow. I know that it is ONLY through/with/by/because of God’s grace could such a response be carried out. Only through faithful prayer could anyone stand strong and have such an humble response to such an injustice which in turn leads to God’s divine revelation. Lesson learned and taught wonderfully by you and your wife. Thank you. Now let see if I can do the same… ;-)

  34. In all ways acknowledge HIM and HE will direct your path…
    I have had alot of bad things too. We all do. But, they are from satan. He wants us to blame it on God. So, follow God. Beat the evil one. Janicse

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