The Gold-Plated Bracelet

As someone who was able to grow up in contrasting environments, I considered myself to be well-versed in having “street smarts”. Even though I grew up going to schools that were in the better part of town, I spent a lot of time in other areas in town. By spending time around different types of people and observing the way they interacted allowed me to control my behaviors around certain crowds to avoid any unnecessary confrontations. This always tough me how to be a respecter of persons, no matter where they come from. A simple verse to reflect on is “And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.” (Luke 6:31).

But even when you have the best intentions for others, and yourself, “street smarts” can sometimes outsmart you. My wife and I have been married for over a decade and we got married early in life. Even so, I have always tried my best to provide her with both love and nice things. See, providing love is one thing but when you are young and do not have much money, the nice things can wait. “Without consultation, plans are frustrated, but with many counselors they succeed.” (Proverbs 15:22). I have been known to be stubborn and disregard, both wisdom, and knowledge, from those who know better. So, I had to learn the hard way…

As I said earlier, I liked to provide nice things for my wife, even if it meant taking a risk and spending my last. Well, I would learn a very good lesson soon. One day, around the date of our 3rd or 4th anniversary, I went to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to register a vehicle I had purchased. While I was there, I remember this guy pulling up and asking if I was interested in buying some nice, brand-new jewelry for my lady. This was an immediate red flag for me but I was bored and wanted to entertain the situation.

As he revealed the merchandise, he explained how all the tags were intact and the 14k gold stamp was in place. I thought to myself, “This is actually the real deal and I would be foolish to pass up on an opportunity like this!” The jewelry was a beautiful tennis bracelet with what I thought were diamonds. He was driving in a nice vehicle and he even handled his business at DMV for the next two hours that I was there. A few days later, when our anniversary arrived, I was pleased to give my wife the new bracelet. She was so excited and could not believe what she had. And then she took a shower, with the bracelet on…

That day, we both found out the jewelry I purchased was not the real deal. Even though my wife was very forgiving and laughed hysterically, I was highly frustrated. “The foolishness of man ruins his way, And his heart rages against the Lord.” (Proverbs 19:3) I was so upset at the situation but more upset that I got played. And even though I was a little upset that God allowed it, ultimately, it was my choice and my consequence for going against what I knew was wrong. Today, I can laugh at the situation and I am glad I experienced it as it reminded me to always trust my better judgment.

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