I’m struggling today. I’m wrestling with this issue: extending grace vs. holding someone accountable for doing wrong.
I wrote a blog on August 30th about my encounter with a very rude mechanic who fixed our car a few weeks back. I confronted him about the discrepancy between the quote that was given to us earlier in the day and the substantially higher bill that we received when we came to pick up the car. I was really taken aback with his dishonest business practices as well as his disrespectful response and actions when I tried to talk to him. By the end of that day, I had calmed down and decided to let it go and extend grace to this man. Perhaps he had had a really bad day. I gave him the benefit of the doubt and let it go….or did I?
During the month of September, I thought about the situation from time to time. I couldn’t seem to get the conversation that I had with this man out of my head. I asked two reputable garages about the incident and they assured me that this man was in the wrong, both with the cost increase and with his response to me. As October rolled around, the incident was still on my mind. I had no peace about the situation.
I have really wrestled with this. Yes, there is grace and I want to be forgiving towards others… but there is also accountability. This man owns his own shop and he is accountable to no one about what he charges customers. In my opinion, there is something very wrong with this kind of set up.
This morning, I wrote him a letter with my concerns and cycled over to his shop. I’m not sure if he recognized me in the yard but he didn’t take any time to greet or talk with me. I went into his office and handed the letter to the woman behind the counter, who then handed it to her “boss“, who happened to be the owner’s wife. At that point, I said “thank you,” jumped on my bike and headed home.
I haven’t heard back from them today.
Like I said, I’m struggling with all this. I think that the words,”grace” and “accountability” are both words that Christians use. I see these words when I read articles about Christian leadership but I don’t see the words used very often in secular magazines. I’m a Christian. I want to live differently and extend grace but I don’t want to be someone else’s doormat – I strongly believe that this man’s actions were wrong. Yet, this morning, I read this quote in my devotions.
Christ’s followers cannot expect better treatment in the world than their Master had. —Matthew Henry
I want to do the right thing because that’s the right thing to do. Period. I’m just not sure what the right thing is….so if you have any thoughts on this, I would love to hear from you.
Do I pursue or do I truly let go, change mechanics and move on? What would you do?