Baxter Black, DVM
Christmas is the most joyful of seasons for Believers … when publicly we are closest to God … birth of Christ.
It is also a time when we can open our hearts and remember the “second great commandment” as mentioned in Matthew 22:39, “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” Sometimes that’s hard to do.
Years ago I received a call from a close friend. He was excited because I was coming to his town to put on a cowboy poetry performance. I looked at my calendar and told him it was a mistake, I WAS NOT booked there on that date …in fact, I was booked somewhere else!
The next week he called back and said they were advertising my appearance. He sent me the newspaper promoting and selling tickets! I called the editor and explained that something was wrong. He argued with me, saying his “booking agent” had confirmed it just the day before. I said, “Somebody is scamming you. He plans to use me to draw a crowd, then tell everyone I was a ‘no show,’ but will then say fortunately he has another group ready to take my place!”
I admit I threatened to sue him. Then I CALLED the scammer and offered to perform some surgical procedures on him that would make his voice higher.
Couple years later I got a call from a lady who lost her job because this same scammer advertised a popular performer and then the performer didn’t show up. The local sponsor blamed her. I called her boss and explained she was a victim of his bait and switch. She got her job back.
Five years later the scammer sent an email out in a blanket mailing to the “cowboy poetry world” accusing that I was no longer popular, my shows were vulgar, profane, I was a drunk, and that he himself was having to take my jobs. We received a truckload of messages from friends and fans cursing, angry, and condemning the scammer. I should have been mad.
However … by that time in my life I had made a personal commitment to the good Lord’s direction, specifically: FORGIVENESS AND MERCY TO ALL WHO OFFEND.
I instructed my office not to say anything in response to any calls, emails or gossip. I suppose the scammer took a lot of heat … he wrote another email which was ignored. When the smoke cleared, I wrote him a card forgiving him, that his hate was only hurting himself and I could forgive him because I know the truth, he knows the truth and God knows the truth. And that is all that matters.
This Christmas, parts of our fellow Americans are floating in a sea of political hate. It personally harms the hater much more than the hated. It is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die from it. Take the first step … Jesus forgave those who crucified Him.
Philimone, chapter 1. ❖
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