The Thief!

burglar

While working at the parents house, today and in past, I have come across a lot of things that aren’t really valuable but have sentimental value or that trigger memories. I came across a strawberry shortcake thermos today that did not sell. It made me think about one night that the family was my parents when I got off work. I went there to get them and we ended up staying for dinner. Then, a Strawberry Shortcake Christmas show was coming on and our oldest, at the time only, daughter loved Strawberry Shortcake and wanted to stay and watch it, so we did that and another Christmas cartoon after that, then we finally headed home. But, when we got there we noticed the living room was a mess and realized that it was cold in there but could hear the furnace running. Then, we realized that someone had been in there, but the door had been locked. We looked, and found that someone had broken a window in the back of the house and come in that way. Apparently going out the same way or locking the door behind them when they let. We started looking and found that 2 rifles, my good 35mm camera and a shotgun had been stolen. None of the gifts had been taken. Now, we were not really financially stable at that time so any loss was significant. But the biggest loss of all was the shotgun, a bolt action .410 that had been my grandfather’s. It wasn’t a valuable shotgun by any means, other than the sentimental value made it irreplaceable. Thankfully we had good homeowner’s insurance and everything was replaced and because it was theft, there was no deductible. But, that still did not replace the actual shotgun, first, I could not find one like it, and second, a replacement would not have been Pop’s shotgun. Due to that, I was still pretty upset about it being stolen.

Thou shalt not steal. Exodus 20:15

Well, 3 or 4 years later, one of my wife’s brothers admitted that he knew who had broken into our place and stolen my things, it was one of the other brothers. Even worse was I found out that he knew it the very next day but said nothing. I was betrayed by two family members. Now, the fact that one knew, but said nothing was shocking and hurtful, but what was truly hurtful was the one that had stolen the things. There are a lot of things that one can do to another that are wrong but stealing involves several things at the same time: stealing obviously, but also involves a lot of other sins against someone else: lying and deceit, greed, assault (mental,) jealousy, destruction of one’s property. And, even worse was that I also eventually learned that he traded everything for about $50 worth of drugs. There were multiple family functions over the time between when that happened and when I learned about it and both the brother that stole from me and the one that concealed the facts never acted like they had done me wrong. No sign whatsoever that they had done me so wrong. Both had been present that Christmas, probably 2 weeks after the robbery, and another brother asked if the sheriff had found out anything and asked a bit about things and I mentioned that the one thing that bothered me most was Pop’s shotgun. The two guilty brothers offered sympathy and said things like: “I can’t believe how some people are.” and the one that had stolen my things said, “That kind of person is the lowest of the low.” Looking back, I am stunned that one could do someone that wrong and act so innocent. Stealing from me something of a value that no one could replace and pretending to be concerned and that they were innocent of any wrong doing.

Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another.  Leviticus 19:11

As I said, it was bad enough just having it happen, but then later to discover that not one, but two, family members were in one manner or another involved. I had a hard time forgiving either of them, I have now, but it took me a very long time. I still struggle to understand how one person can intentionally wrong a family member, steal from them and then pretend to be innocent of any wrong doing. While not my siblings, I had been married to their sister for over 6 years at the time and considered them as close to me as my own brother and they pretended the same towards me. If they actually did have any consideration of family ties, it is obvious that they have no loyalty to family. To steal from, lie to, cheat, deceive and intentionally hurt a relative totally shocks me beyond words. Any person that would try to steal from family is far worse than a stranger stealing from a person in my mind.

Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivereth from death.  Proverbs 10:2

Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.  Mark 10:19

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have [it] more abundantly.  John 10:10

 

I harbored hard feelings against all those that were aware and complicit in the theft of my things, much more so than had they had been strangers. I felt betrayed in addition to the personal affront of being stolen from since it was family that had done so. It took me a long time to forgive. Oh, I shan’t forget what they did and I do not think I will ever trust them again, but I do forgive them.

Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also [do] ye.  Colossians 3:13

If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 1 John 4:20

 

Lord,  I thank You for teaching me to forgive, despite the wrong treatment by others. Showing me how Christ would have me respond. I thank You for the mercy and grace that You show me, despite my unworthiness. I thank Jesus for the sacrifice He made on the cross to redeem me. I pray for those who have done me, and others, wrong and that they be shown the error of their ways. Show them Your truths. Somehow Lord, lead them to You. Draw us all closer to You and show us that riches from sin are never going to be enjoyed. I pray that all loved ones learn to honor You and come to You asking for Your forgiveness. Help me see any manner in which I have sinned against others, help them be able to forgive me and help me to not sin against others or You again.

Amen

 

I appreciate those who find their way to my blog. I hope that you all have a blessed day, and that you are able to be a blessing to someone else as well.

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You can’t hide from you

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I am up and the home town again for several days, finishing up the last I need to do to prepare for my parents’ estate sale and not surprisingly, I sometimes run into people I know and I am almost always amazed at peoples’ behavior. I know a lot about behavior since I deal with people a lot and it is part of my training. It is almost universal that if someone is guilty of something, ashamed of their actions, owes someone money for instance and has not paid them back, borrowed a tool and either broke it or never returned it, or in some other manner did you wrong they try to avoid you. There are people that either borrowed money from my dad, or got groceries on credit when he had his store and never paid him and they do that to me, they are still ashamed, and my dad has been gone for 4 years.

The other day I had to run some errands, I parked and as I walked towards the door at the store, I glanced over and saw someone that, well, to be kind to them and their behavior, was far less than kind in their treatment of me and that is putting it mildly. But, as I was walking I was just of sort of looking around and saw them. They saw me and almost immediately, looked down at the ground, turned away slightly before lifting their head back up, trying to look toward me but they were unable to make eye contact. I have had this before, but it always amazes me to see it happen. So many people, if ashamed of something they have done, will do almost anything to avoid eye contact. The behavioral aspect of that is that if the people make eye contact, there is a greater chance that the other will possibly try to initiate a conversation and the one that owes them money, or whatever they feel guilty about, want to avoid that because they have to face their own misbehavior, almost like if they and the one that was done wrong don’t talk, they aren’t really guilty. They essentially try to hide from you and when they can’t hide, they look away. I have had people that owed me money that I have almost bumped into at the grocery store going one direction in an aisle, coming towards me, and then they abruptly turn around and go the opposite direction, afraid to face their guilt. The avoidance doesn’t make the wrong go away, it doesn’t make either of them think that whatever is wrong did not happen, both are aware perhaps instead of owing one money,  they were talking about them, or perhaps stole something, broke something, whatever it may be, but both know and avoiding does not change things. Sometimes, the one done wrong is hurt by the actions and prefers to avoid the interaction as well, but for me, I have forgiven them. I don’t approve of their actions and to be honest, they know that they were wrong, but I cannot control others I can only control me and my response to the maltreatment. But, they know the wrong they did, to me or to others, and are ashamed to face that fact. Humans tend to feel that if they avoid the interaction then they don’t have to acknowledge what they did, and if they don’t acknowledge it, they don’t have to apologize or otherwise own up for their actions, avoiding facing the sin, the maltreatment, and by that action, will not apologize or ask forgiveness.

I have been on both sides of this type of interaction, when I was younger, maybe I had been drinking or doing something else I shouldn’t have done, I would try to avoid eye contact or other interaction with my parents. Sometimes they knew, sometimes they did not. Maybe I stayed out past curfew, got bad grades or something, but trying to avoid it did not change whatever wrong I had done, it actually added to it because one cannot move forward when they are carrying baggage for misdeeds or worse, continuing in their wrong actions. When I had a bad grade and got a progress report, one of my parents had to sign the report, eventually, if that was not turned in signed, the school would mail one to the house so it didn’t make the issue nonexistent, it was just a weak attempt on my part to avoid my responsibility and due to that, unable to try to make things right. In the past when I have been the one that was wronged, I would sometimes try to avoid interactions due to either anger or desire to spare the other person embarrassment. Yet, my avoidance did not change things either. As I wouldn’t go to church when I knew I was sinning, thinking by not going to church I did not have to admit to God I was sinning, but HE KNEW.

But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out. Numbers 32:23

 

I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. Psalms 32:5

 

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

 

He knows our sins. We can’t hide or pretend they don’t exist regardless of how we try and failing to confess our sins simply serves to increase our shame and guilt.

 

Oh my precious God, I praise You for Your sacrifice of Your son to provide me my salvation and the forgiveness of my sins. I have confessed my sins to You and no longer am sinning. I know at times I will stumble, and I pray that You help me avoid the stumbling but also know that if I truly when I come to You and confess any sins in the future that You will forgive me again. I thank You that I no longer need to try to hide my sins because You have cleansed me of them and washed me in the precious Blood of Christ. Help others to know that forgiveness from You for their sins and turning away from sin will give them salvation as well. I ask You to use me to help reach others that they may follow You and let You have Your will in their lives. I ask that You use me to help bring my children to You that they may have salvation and deliverance from sin. I ask that You continue to help my faith grow and to help me have the heart and mind of Christ.

In Jesus Name, Amen.

 

Thank you all for stopping by, please, if you see someone you did wrong, don’t run and hide, face them, confess and try to make amends, apologize and ask forgiveness. If someone has done you wrong, then forgive them, whether they apologize or not. Both things will bless you. And, after you are blessed, be a blessing to someone else.