Something for Nothing.

Do you ever feel like you have to do more? That you have to pay your way? That you can’t keep accepting – you have to give back? I do. This is a perfectly natural way to feel. It’s a sign of maturity to know that nothing is free. If my kids spent all their time in bed, playing games, watching TV or going out and expecting money from you to support them I am pretty sure I’d think I had failed in my parenting.  We expect people to take responsibility for their lives at some point. No-one wants to either be completely reliant on someone else nor to be the one relied on. We pay our own way, we participate in what we consider a fair exchange and pat ourselves on the back assured of our independence. After all you don’t get something for nothing.

The trouble is this doesn’t work with God. Oh I want it to, in my human mind I want to pay Him back, to do my part in this Salvation I have received. I think the psalmist expresses it perfectly.

16 I would surrender my dearest possessions or destroy all that I prize to prove my regret,
    but You don’t take pleasure in sacrifices or burnt offerings.
17 What sacrifice I can offer You is my broken spirit
    because a broken spirit, O God,
    a heart that honestly regrets the past,
You won’t detest.

Psalm 51:16-17

Isn’t that the way you feel sometimes? I know it’s how I feel. I want to throw myself on the ground, beat myself up, crawl over hot coals to show my repentance. Probably because that’s what I would expect from someone who had offended me the way I have offended God. But God wants a broken heart not a broken body. Bodies mend pretty fast but how often have you nursed a heartache for years? Kept an emotion going for far too long? Our emotional response to a bruise or a break can last longer than the physical effect does.

We have far too lofty an idea of who we are.

Stop believing in human beings as so amazing, so capable!
    We are short-lived, only a breath from death and worth as much.
What makes us think we’re so special?

Isaiah 2:22

Independent, self-sufficient, capable me. But God wants me to lean on Him, to rely on Him, to trust in Him. To accept the free, completely totally free gift of being forgiven and start this relationship on the right footing He intended at Creation. I am always going to be mortal and He will always be Immortal. I am always going to be human and He is always going to be God.

Pride says: “Not fair, I have to be able to do an equal part, I want to be like God, I want to BE God.”

Truth says: “God is Love. I can be like God and love. Love is not envious, boastful or proud. There can only be one God.”

I think a lot of my failings spring from this wanting to be good enough, to ‘balance’ the books by doing my fair share. I can’t. All I can do is love Him. Everything springs from my response to His Love.

It seems unfair don’t you think? Far too easy.

So why do I have such difficulty doing it….

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One thought on “Something for Nothing.

  1. Pingback: Inequality and Why I Love It | Shiny Thoughts

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