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Bureaucratic mistake ... how do I respond?
One day last year, I received a letter indicating that I owed a debt of thousands of dollars and that the government was initiating the process of wage garnishment. The debt was related to an issue that had been resolved over a year earlier, and the government agency had already made this exact mistake before.
I was pretty upset and couldn’t wait to call the agency when they opened the next day to chew them out for their mistake! The problem was that I was so upset I wasn’t being very nice to my family.
Despite my tumultuous thoughts, the “still small voice” (I Kings 19:12) of God reminded me that I needed to chill out. So, I sat on the couch and listened for God’s guidance. What came to me was a passage from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures where Mary Baker Eddy describes the situation of someone who receives a mistaken message, or “blundering despatch,” informing them that a friend has died (p. 386). This news causes the receiver the same grief and anguish that the friend’s actual passing would cause. Later, another “despatch” comes to correct the mistake. The grief and sorrow are seen to be a result of human belief.
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About the author
Joe Funston is a patent attorney who lives in Murphy, Texas.