You may remember an article I wrote a while back when we were looking at decreasing our phone/broadband bill. We ended up in a bidding war between two suppliers, one our original suppliers, the other a rival. In the end they both dramatically slashed their prices and I learnt the lesson to never take their prices at face value – a hard lesson for me to learn as a ‘I can’t haggle, I’m English’ man. In that article I commented on how although I was pleased to get a better rate, I was frustrated to have had to haggle like this to get it, and reflected on how Jesus called us to speak plainly, to let our yes be yes and no be no (Mt. 5:37).
At the time I hoped the saga was over, but just to make sure I cancelled the direct debit I had made briefly with the new company before deciding to settle with our current suppliers. As it turns out, I suspect this was a wise move as they have twice since tried to charge us £126 for our line rental on a non-existent line on a contract cancelled as soon as we took it out. Twice now I have been in touch and had confirmation that this was a mistake which has now been rectified. I wait with bated breath to find out if the second attempt is indeed final!
As we share our faith with those on our ‘frontlines’ (the places and people we spend most of our time with outside the church) sometimes we will have the joy of their responding positively to what we have to say (which reminds me, don’t forget to tell me if you have invited folks to Simply Christianity and they and you plan to come). This will not always be the case, and sometimes folks who show an initial interest will walk away, just as I did from this particular phone supplier. How we respond to their ‘leaving’ is of great importance. Unless there is a change in their customer service, it is highly unlikely that I will recommend this phone company to my friends, and no chance that I would reconsider them in the future. If they had accepted that I didn’t want to continue my interest and dealt with it promptly and politely, and ensured that I wasn’t plagued by further bills, who knows, maybe sometime I might have had a second look, and wouldn’t be so negative about them if asked about my views! How do we deal with those who decide that they’re not interested in our faith or disagree with our views? Do we leave them free to leave but open maybe to taking a second look later or do we leave them adamant that they’re going to have nothing more to do with us and our faith, and more than happy to say so to their friends and colleagues.