It was hidden!
I had a « friend » that I will call Giovanni for confidentiality purposes. We went to school together for three years in the Caribbean and we used to mess around together. I mean, a lot!
Like every human being my natural tendency was to do evil and Giovanni was helping me to translate this natural tendency into reality.
From smoking to stealing things from people, I was introduced to a life when evil was at the center.
Praise the Lord, I gave my life to Jesus a few years after and I know that my sins were forgiven! I am washed by the blood of the lamb.
« …Friendship means a lot to me… »
But before the reconciliation with my Heavenly Father, I was considering Giovanni as a friend and friendship means a lot to me. I moved from the Caribbean to France in 1999 and Giovanni moved the following year. We were not living in the same city.
We would meet occasionally but, in 2001, he resigned his job and came to Paris. We would see each other more often and he was looking for a job.
In my company, they were looking for IT field technicians and my brother who also knew Giovanni introduced him to the company so he can be co-opted.
My company did not contact him, but for some reason, the Lord knows why, when I gave his CV to my manager, I told him: « Giovanni is a good guy » and he hired him straight away!
Giovanni had a new job, a company car, a company mobile phone and I was sub-renting my room to him as I moved into a bigger place with my girlfriend.
« I was trusting him »
We agreed that I would keep the room and the phone line and Internet at my name and he would pay the bills. That was only for a short period and for helping him.
I was coming from time to time to see him. After 2 months, I saw the phone bill was not paid and he had a first warning from the Telecom’s company. He told me he will pay it but one month or so later he still had not paid it.
The telecom company was about to engage actions against me so I paid the bill. After that, I was trying to reach Giovanni over the phone but he would skip my calls.
One Saturday, as I was working, between two clients I called him he would not pick up. I called my dispatch operator and they confirmed to me that he was working that day. They had just had him over the phone.
One hour or so later I tried to call him again and still no answer. I called my dispatch operator and I asked him to connect me with Giovanni. As they did so, he thought it was the company calling him and after two rings he answered.
I felt a pain in my chest when he answered as I was trusting him as a friend. It was not about money but more about trust. I eventually met him that same day, as he realized that he was found « naked », and he gave me the money for the bill. In my heart, I said, « It is finished between me and Mr G. ».
« I was promoted »
Two years later I was promoted. I was the Team Leader of the team I was in. I had been an IT field technician for five years, we had a new manager and he thought I was doing a great job and that I could be a good example for the team.
That was a new challenge for me. My manager helped me a lot and I still thank him today. I had a team of ten people and Giovanni was still among them and he had to report to me.
Because I had been a field technician for five years I knew the issues a technician had to face every day but I also knew that a technician could take advantage of being on the field (Away from the office).
« He was my first target »
I was keeping a close eye on Giovanni as I knew him and I knew his tendency of cheating or taking advantage of every situations as much as he could. Giovanni was quite often late on the morning. Sometimes he would say that he started late because he met a client earlier. I was checking everything he was saying and found out that 90% of what he was saying were lies.
He eventually had a meeting with my manager. He was accompanied with a member of his union. During this meeting my manager showed all the evidences (that I had reported) of his wrongdoings and he ended up with a warning. As Giovanni stated that he could not work with me as I was always on his back, they agreed that he would move to another team.
« My real motive »
After this incident, I would hear about Giovanni from time to time. His new team leader was happy with him. Apparently he had changed!
I held this position of Team Leader for three years then I had a career break as I moved to London to learn English for eighteen months.
I came back to the company in 2009 as an IT Support 3rd line. God’s timing is really impressive!
The following year, the company lost a contract and the team in which was Giovanni was going to be dismantled. Some employees went to field but Giovanni was affected in the building I was in and we would see each other every day. We would greet each other and that would be it. In my heart I had turned the page.
At this period I was also doing some Rap with Christ and I remember I had written a song in which I was saying « God forgave us to teach us how to forgive« . It does not rhyme in English but in French it was very nice…:)
One morning, as I was driving to go to work, I was humming this song when the Holy Spirit emphasized my words and showed me the picture of Giovanni in a flash. I knew straight away that I had not forgiven him for betraying me as a friend.
I felt ashamed as the Lord showed me what was in my heart. I realized also that when I was his Team Leader I behaved the way I behaved for the wrong motives. That was true that he was not doing doing what was expected from him but the way I dealt with his case was impregnated with unforgiveness and vengeance.
The Lord unveiled the complete picture to me and I knew I had sort this out with him. It took me two weeks to be ready then one day I was at work, I spoke to him and invited him to a one to one lunch. I told him that I needed to talk to him. He accepted and we met two days or three days later in a pizzeria.
My weight was lifted!
Once ordered our meals, I opened my heart and told him that I was sorry for the way I behaved when I was his Team Leader and I explained that the Lord had revealed to me that I had behaved that way because of what happened with the phone bill.
This story had happened seven years before but it was so fresh in my heart. Even if was not guilty, I was carrying the weight of unforgiveness in my heart. I did not even know how this was affecting me. It was hidden.
Giovanni forgave me and he told me that he had paid the bill and that maybe the Telecom had made a mistake. I was struggling to believe him at first place but I eventually chose to let go.
My weight was lifted! There is power in the decisions we make, specially when it comes to heart issues like those.
I left the company around one year after the meeting at the restaurant. We did not become friends again but I was in peace with myself and with the Lord. The day I was living I handed to Giovanni the money of the bill that he said he had paid twice but he did not want it. He told me consider that he had received it.
I Praise the Lord for allowing me to sort out this hidden issue which was subtly affecting my whole life.
I can only confirm this
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Hebrews 4 v 12
Keep this is mind
Our hearts keep record of everything we do. Good or bad! Holding grudges against people who wronged us will destroy us little by little. It does not make sense humanly speaking to forgive someone who is wrong and who hurt you. But spiritually, forgiveness is a powerful weapon which will bring peace in your heart and will release the one that you don’t want to forgive.