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Fixing a Flat the Wrong Way

I was angry today.  Very angry.

I went to the tire center at Walmart.

That sentence kind of explains it all, right? I got there around one in the afternoon and didn’t leave until after four.  I went in to get my tire fixed.  The attendant there came back after an hour and told me that my tire had dry rot, and he was not willing to risk airing it back up again for fear it would explode on him.  My only option was to get a new tire.

I never only buy one tire, so I asked him the prices of the tires, and he assured me that there was enough tread on the tire to get a pro-rated charge on the new tires.  I finally agreed to two new tires and began my waiting process again.

At 3:15 my car was finally outside, but they hadn’t called me.  I went up to the counter and asked if it was ready, and they showed me the sheet of what had been done.  The charges were almost one hundred dollars more than I was told to expect.  I was not prepared to pay that kind of money today.  I went in expecting to get a free flat repair and ended up with an over two-hundred dollar bill.

I was not happy.  They had not pro-rated the tires, and this whole idea of my tires being dry rotted did not set well with me.  My wife had gotten the tires checked just last week by the dealership, and they said the tires were fine.  Tires don’t get dry rot in five days.

They decided to call the manager.  At about four o’clock she finally showed up, and I explained my dilemma.  Fifteen minutes later she finally decided what to do.

I want to stop there for a minute.

Did I have reason to be angry?  I had been there three hours for what was supposed to be a flat repair. My expectations were shattered.  I had been given false information and over-charged for services rendered.  I felt like I had every reason to be angry.

In the process of this, though, there are so many things to consider.  First, what was my conduct like?  Did I keep my head or lose it?  Am I showing them love even when I’m angry?  Is it possible to show love when angry?  What would Jesus do (the old cliche fallback)? Why was this all happening to me?

I don’t like being angry.  It doesn’t make me feel good, and it doesn’t help those around me either.  Nevertheless, I find myself at various times caught in the trap of selfishness where I am consumed with myself and become angry.

The bible doesn’t say that anger is a sin.  It is what we do with that anger that is the sin – or not.  If I had started throwing a temper tantrum, then that would definitely be in the sin range.  Fortunately, I didn’t go there today. Had I become hateful or rude beyond normal explanation of my side of the argument that would have been over the top.  If, however, I can control my tongue (and the rest of my body) when I’m angry then I can be angry and not sin.

This is what we are called to do.  Jesus never asked us to not become angry.  He asks us to not sin when we become angry.  Let me tell you, it’s not always easy to do.

Back to my story.  The manager showed up and found out both sides of the story.  It turned out that the guy that gave me all the quotes is the newest member of their team.  He gave me bogus information.  The tire wasn’t dry rotted, but it was in need of replacement.  The manager overrode the price, and she gave me a hefty discount to ease my mind.

As I look back at the events of today, I can’t help but see how God worked in this situation to make all things work out for my good.  I got two new tires (which I needed) for much less than even had originally been quoted to me because of the fiasco surrounding this situation.  I didn’t really need to be spending that money today, and God helped me out financially.  I just had to persevere through the rough time to see the benefit.

I still don’t like going to the tire shop at Walmart, but I am grateful for that manager.  I am grateful that God helped me keep my cool today.  I am grateful that He worked this out for my good (Romans 8:28).

If you’re going through a rough time where you constantly feel angry about your situation, pray to God for new perspective.  May He show you the good that is being done all around you FOR you.  And may you not sin in your anger but be a shining example of Christ to those around you.  We aren’t perfect, but thank God that through Jesus we’re forgiven.

If there’s anything I can do for you or pray with you about, feel free to contact me at 245-1611 or via email at jddobbs@verizon.net.  God bless you!

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