I recently had a real estate transaction fall apart. As best as I can tell, the buyer simply decided he didn’t want to buy the property anymore. This happened despite our legally binding contract. There are plenty more details to the story, but they are not important. What I really want to know is, what would you do? More importantly, what is the right thing to do? Most of the time, we consider things in terms of right and wrong relative to ourselves. For example, think for a second about how many inconveniences my seller endured. A willing and able buyer comes along to buy his house and, in good faith, he signed a contract stating the terms. Once signed, he got about the business of securing another residence, organizing and managing movers, utilities, insurance and the like. His whole life is in upheaval. This is the context from which we base our decisions. So, what would you do?
One option is to forgive the buyer and simply walk away. Sadly, I am confronted with an internal conflict. The voice in my head says, “hey, wait a minute! You cannot just let people walk away from a contract. If everyone did this, our whole world would collapse.” My position is even supported by the founders of this country. John Adams, for example, said that “we are a government of laws, not men.” So clearly, I should let the law dictate my next action.
So why, if the law supports my position should I turn aside and move on? In 1 Corinthians 6, Paul rightly directs the thoughts of Christians toward Jesus. He reminds us that we too were once deceived by the practices of this world. However, the cleansing blood of Jesus allows us to be washed clean, justified and sanctified. My reflection upon Jesus immediately reshaped my thoughts. His power, working inside me, allows me to evaluate my decisions differently. Instead of thinking in terms of right and wrong, the Holy Spirit gets me thinking in terms of glory. The new question I ask is, “what action will cause the other party to take notice of Jesus?”
When we finally get it right, our decisions will always point to Jesus. Then, He will be glorified and his kingdom will be established here on earth.