Forgiveness,Compassion vs. Grudge and Anger
Last Saturday I had a battle inside me...to show compassion and to forgive...to be angry and revengeful...this was how my weekend ended up...being torn between bitterness and to show acts of mercy.
There were 3 children (aged between 7-9yrs.old) I knew them because they were my neighbors and one of them was the sister of my rival store. I frequently spoke to them and they were asking me how I made ice Popsicle which they like to buy from my store...I told them the secret ingredient was praying over the mixture so it would taste good. They said the ones they made was not as good as mine...so we were having this nice conversation and I thought they were buying popsicle when one of them said they were buying a pack of cigarettes. I asked why and they said a man from their compound asked them to do this errand for him.
They had a large bill so I told them to tell the man who's asking them to buy it, to just go to the convenient store on the next street. They came back asking how much the pack costs since the man gave them P20 pesos. I told them that the pack cost P38 pesos and so they left again. This time the man who asked them to buy approached my store and obviously he was drunk began badgering me about the price of the cigarettes. He said that if I don't give it to him at the wholesale cost I should issue him a receipt. I told him that "sari-sari" stores do not issue receipts only larger establishments... asking me for a receipt was like asking a street peddler to issue an official receipt...anyway back to our heated argument...
The man was shouting and harassing me. My older sister heard it and went to see what I was arguing this man about I told her that it was okay and I was in control of the situation but in reality I was pissed off over this man who was arrogantly speaking of non-sense about how the government is losing money etc. etc. and how the economy is bad etc.etc. I told him politely that if he wants a receipt then he should buy elsewhere but he kept on shouting back at me so in my anger I went out of my store with my baseball bat and asked him to leave my store.
Since the man was totally disrespectful my sister called my brother and my father who apprehended the man...they asked me to come inside and since I was shaking in anger they asked me to put the baseball bat down and calm myself. It turns out that this man was the cousin of one of our tenants who was just visiting and they were having a drinking session at 3p.m. in the afternoon.
Our tenant apologized to us but bluntly told us that his cousin was a military man and was working at the Malacañang Palace...in my frustration and I was more angry this time for this statement...I told them "I DON'T CARE" because being in the military and in the government doesn't give him the right to harass people and doesn't give him the right to a lesser tag price because he is bragging about his status quo. And more importantly doesn't give him the right to ask children "MINORS" to buy cigarettes for him.
The children even apologized to me and I told them that it was not right for them to buy the cigarettes in the first place and it was not right for this adult to use them. I told them that they should not follow the footsteps of this man...that they should refrain from drinking alcohol and getting drunk and using cigarettes as well when they are all grown up especially when they are working for the military and for the government, they should be setting good examples to the younger generation.
I was in RAGE to confront this man again and tell him that his position does not empower him to disrespect me or to harass me at my store. I wanted to tell him that if he is really a soldier and works at the office of the President of the Philippines then he should be ashamed of his display of character.
This is the reason why my country is becoming morally corrupt because of people like this man who thinks that because he is in the government or military, he is entitled to more privileges. That he can do whatever he pleases because of his rank....that he can use his position to intimidate children or small store owners such as I am to give in to his whims.
I admit, right at this moment that I am writing this blog on FORGIVENESS and COMPASSION...I am having a hard time to let go of this incident because I am so frustrated about how some of my countrymen have turned into greedy and ruthless beings because of POWER and MONEY. It angers me more to see how our country is turning into a circus of corruption.
I want to FORGIVE and I have prayed for this person that he might be enlightened but I am also praying for enlightenment that I will not turn into this bitter person because of this incident. That I will be more compassionate towards these kind of people who pollute the country with their selfish ambitions.
I know that most of you reading this have experienced one way or the other a similar frustration towards a person...a community or a country.
Anger leads to sin... we should pray fervently to forgive instead of harboring a grudge inside our heart...it is difficult but it is a challenge we should face and lift to GOD.
18 " 'Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.