Recently, I feel like I have been living a parable. I own a rental property-actually, Citibank owns a rental property that I am fiscally responsible for. Given a choice I would have never done this, but we got caught up in the real estate bubble and all of the people saying, “You have to buy now, or you’ll get left behind.” So, we took out a mortgage and began occupying a home, then moved to another state about a year later. Since the house was and still is underwater, we decided to rent it out.
Twice we’ve rented it out, and out of our pockets with no rental income we have paid the mortgage 5 times in 2 years. Once was the month we moved out, before it was ready to rent. Once, we received a check and it came back insufficient Funds. unfortunately, it was the last months’ rent for that tenant. The rest of the times was all with one tenant. In July, she said that she sent the check to us, and it cleared her account, but we never received it. Then in February, she just stopped paying rent and occupied the house half way through March, until the sheriff came and told her she must leave or all of her property will be confiscated-including her car impounded and dog taken to the humane society.
This all caused me to start thinking, “how can people who we have been nothing but good to, treat us so horribly?” In July, when we did not receive her rent, we simply asked her to pay what she can per month until the debt was paid. We could have been rude and threatening, but extended mercy and grace to the situation. When she stopped paying rent, I made the process of eviction go as slow as I could afford it to go, affording every opportunity and gave every warning I could give. In the end, they took advantage of us at every turn. They even caused a tremendous amount of damage to my house, and left a garage full of garbage that I had rent a u-haul and pay the city dump to take care of for me. The cost of all of this is amazing. We had two accounts in which we kept emergency funds, and this has cost us all of the money in both emergency funds. What is worse, is that the money is unrecoverable. The laws are not in my favor.
As I ponder these things, I felt like God was teaching me. Though I can never really know what it is like, I think that I began to understand how God feels we take advantage of His forgiveness. Romans 6:1 directs us that we should not keep sinning because we know that we have forgiveness, but how many times (consciously or subconsciously) do we do that anyways. We all know right from wrong, but still choose to wrong anyways. Living this parable has drawn me to repentance. How does this story and verse strike you?