How do you ensure testing?
Resolve and commit.
As soon as we verbally committed to rent our house to our friends our commitment was tested. Our realtor called the next day and asked to show our house to someone who was very interested in our house and wanted to buy. This was unusual because this couple had narrowed their search down and ours was one of only a few they were considering and they had cash to pay. And isn't that the best case scenario we could have imagined for all the eleven months the house has been on the market?
We honored our commitment to our friends.
The Lawyer and I had also discussed the financial implications of this rental situation. While things are more expensive in Richmond, we felt it was a good time for us to slow our financial outflow and continue to pay off our debt. Therefore, we resolved to look for a one year rental that would be at the bottom end of our price range. (The only thing I had specifically been asking the Lord for was somewhere to hang my porch swing that I love.)
Well, don't you know that the only house I really liked was at the top end of the range? And they would drop the price $50/month for us. And we liked everything about it from the location to the backyard to the wall oven. (And especially the screened in porch with lots of room for the swing and a table and chairs and a first level school room space and a fig tree!) And we were approved.
But there was a smaller house that costs $200 less a month that would meet our needs. And it is only a one year lease. It doesn't have anywhere for my swing, but it does have three bedrooms and a garage and some other nice features. And there was that little thing. . . that sensible commitment we made to each other.
And we are choosing to honor that commitment. It makes cents (though I will still be watching the other house in twelve months to see if it is for sale!). And it is sensible when we consider that in God's economy, a promise is worth more than any financial gain. It will always turn out better for us when we choose to be honest (with ourselves and with others) and honor our commitments- even when it hurts a little.