In early 1992, I was fired as a salesman from a GM/Toyota dealership in Iowa. A week later a manager from a local used car dealership phoned and offered me a sales job which I accepted.
The first two months at the place were okay, but then I walked into a sales desert where I couldn’t sell anything no matter what I tried. Sadly, no sales meant no income because it was a commission-only sales position without a salary to cushion sales slumps.
The other salesmen saw my agony and treated me like a Joe Btfspik, the character in Li’l Abner comic strips who jinxed everyone and always had a black cloud over his head. I became a sales leper to them.
Why didn’t I just quit and find a new job?
I knew I was in a spiritual battle and felt the Lord wanted to teach me something. So, I hung on until the end of the fifty-day sales drought.
Eventually, I learned three lessons from this experience.
First, a salesman lied to one of my clients and stole a sales commission from me. I learned about this one morning as I arrived at work.
“Kevin stole your customer!” the older salesman proclaimed and then he explained what happened.
I stood there and listened.
“What will you do?” he asked.
I shrugged my shoulders.
The following morning, I went for a walk before heading to work. As I walked, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart. “You have to forgive Kevin,” He said.
“No,” I replied, ” I’m hungry and hurt. I can’t forgive him!”
“You have to forgive Kevin,” the Holy Spirit said again.
“No, I can’t.”
The Holy Spirit continued to work on my heart by showing me the tragedy of not forgiving someone, even a thief.
Finally I said, “I can’t forgive him, but if You help me, I will forgive him.”
Then, through the power of the Helper, I forgave the salesman who lied and ripped me off.
But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.” (Mark 11:25 NLT)
In the greatest spiritual battle of all time,Jesus followed His own teaching and out of His agony asked the Father to forgive those who placed Him on the cross. We must do the same and forgive everyone who has hurt us.
What was the second lesson I learned?
(Continued in Part 8)