Steve Stroope is the pastor of Lakepoint Church in Rockwall, Texas. He tells the story of an umpire in the L.A. area that was running late for a game.
A California police officer spotted the speeding official and pulled him over. The ref pleaded like a coach who’d just lost the call at home, “Can’t you just let this one go? I’m late for a game!”
The officer started writing the ticket, so the ump tried another line, “There are a lot of people who are waiting for me! Come on, give me a break this time”
The officer continued writing, so the umpire changed tactics. “Man this will kill my insurance. Listen, you know how those insurance companies are don’t you? This will cost me a fortune. You don’t want that, do you?”
The patrol officer was unmoved. “You’ll have to take that up with the court,” he replied as he brusquely ripped out the citation and pressed it into the umpire’s hand, “Have a nice day.”
Not long after the ticket episode, that same umpire was officiating a ball game. To his surprise, he looked up and saw the same police officer coming to the plate. The patrolman recognized him too. After assessing his position, the policeman meagerly asked, “Uh, How did that ticket thing turn out?”
The ump smiled and said, “Let me put it this way: you had better swing at everything.”
That’s what you call the law of sowing and reaping.
Of course the police officer was just doing his job. He has to write the tickets, and the appropriate thing for the umpire to have done would have been to accept responsibility and show grace. Still, this little tale is a wonderful reminder to the rest of us of to give grace whenever possible, because the day will someday come when we need it ourselves.
Jesus said it like this in Matthew 7:12
Therefore, however you want people to treat you, so treat them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
Mark my words, someone in your world will need grace today, and you will have the power to give it or withhold it. Let me encourage you to give it. Be gracious with the people you meet. Forgive their offenses and overlook their faults. Encourage them when they make a mistake. Give them hope when they get discouraged. Treat them like you want to be treated.
Remember, the day will come when you will get back what you gave.