Recently I tried to sell a piece of furniture on Facebook Marketplace. Several friends had success with that avenue, so I thought I’d give it a try.
The piece was, in my opinion, a neat piece of furniture. A cool marble top, opened so that there was a cabinet, and it even had a little drawer. Could’ve been a nightstand, a side table in a living area, it could really serve a myriad of purposes for its new owner. And frankly, nothing was wrong with it, I simply didn’t have room for it anymore.
One gentleman came to look at it, liked it, but wanted to have the marble refinished and felt that would be too costly so he declined.
Then, another person decided they’d purchase it, sight unseen. They sent a friend to pick it up and I thought the furniture sale was over.
A week later I received a message on Messenger.
“The table is not marble top, and it is not hardwood.”
A few messages ensued, with the final conclusion being, “You misrepresented the furniture.”
Now, I am not a wood/marble connoisseur. When it was purchased, it was sold to me as a marble top table. It feels like wood. I’ve purchased things in the past that were particle board, so I do know the difference in that, it felt and looked like a wooden marble top table. But only to me and my friends. For the purchaser and their friend, they concluded it was neither wood nor marble.
I had no clue what to do. I asked what their desired outcome was, money back? They said no, they just wanted me to know I misrepresented a sale.
Then my mind started down its rabbit hole . . .
“What if they click on my name and figure out I’m a pastor?”
“What if they look up West and conclude we are a crappy church because the pastor “lies” on FB Marketplace?”
“What if they leave me a review that impacts the church?”
I could go on and on . . .
I explained to the buyer that I am a pastor and the last thing in the world I would ever want to do is do something that lacked integrity. Even selling furniture. I explained the whole, “I’m not a wood/marble expert” but . . . I would also never want something to think I intentionally falsely represented something.
Without further conversation, I just PayPal’ed the money back. It wasn’t worth causing someone to think less of me/the church because of a few dollars.
The buyer’s reality and my reality were very different. Neither of us was going to convince the other we were right. So, it was just easier to err on grace and love. Who knows, maybe I am wrong? I don’t know, and will never know, but it was just easier for me to change my mind, change my perspective, and take different actions.
Sometimes changing our minds and our actions is more important than trying to take some moral high ground, thinking that we and ONLY we are right about something. Maybe it is ok, even if we don’t completely change the way we view something, we at least are willing to change enough so that we offer others who differ from us respect.
Are there areas in your life that you could consider being more open to changing your perspective? It’s worth thinking about.
Sunday we will talk about just that . . . the core value, “Infinitely changing.” It doesn’t mean the church . . . it means our own hearts. I hope you will check out West either in person @ 10, online at 9, or on-demand by noon.
Please keep our military, the people of Afghanistan, the families of the 13 soldiers killed in duty, and all those impacted by the hurricane(s) in your prayers! Not to mention our hospitals are full, people continue to be impacted by COVID Delta Variant, I could go on . . . so much hurting in our world . . . may we be intentional about being people that offer love and peace.
Grace and Peace,