Well, I confess it wasn’t me who returned it. It was my ministry.
My partner inadvertently sent his donation check to his auto lender and the auto lender’s check to my ministry. And the funny thing is, both companies had the same initials. Since his handwriting was basically unreadable–except for the three capital letters–both recipients thought it was for their company.
But the auto lender took immediate action: “Thank you for the $25. Where is the other $400?”
The really sad thing about this is that I had not thanked the partner for the surprise extra gift of $400, because if I had thanked immediately (like I try to do now), this error may have been resolved more quickly. And I would have shined in the eyes of my partner because I took immediate action.
That was 1994, way before TNT. So I actually did not know about it until I received the paper printout in the mail several weeks after the gift. But even so, I should have called and thanked him as soon as I did know–that extra $400 was about half a month’s pay for me back then!
Point is: One of the major benefits of the Automatic Actions for New Gifts is that it allows me to respond to any unusual activity on the part of my partners.
When we respond promptly to anything unusual, whether it is an extra gift, a special gift, or even a decrease, it says, “I noticed! You matter to me!”