It is hard to imagine this kind of thinking—especially in our world of commercialism—you know: the giving without selling or trading something. (Sorry if I sound a bit cynical…) Our system is based on quid pro quo, reward and punishment, and justice as retribution instead of unconditional love and mercy. This much of anything requires this much payment. The problem is we all tend to look at all our relationships as having some sort of fundamental cost to them—and the divine doesn’t work that way according to Jesus.
We’ve got to admit that this system of exchange seems reasonable to almost everybody today. If we’re honest, it makes sense to us, too, and seems fair. It’s how we are trained to see the world and how things work. The only trouble is, Jesus doesn’t believe it at all, and He is our spiritual teacher and leader.
Let’s look at a relationship without cost: there would be no “you owe me” but instead there would be no comparison between what we give and what we get. Hard to do—as we feel we’ve worked hard to get to our rightful place and position. But if we are truly Christian, we need to listen to what we are told in the Gospels. We seek a world of mercy, forgiveness, and unconditional love. But in our society we worry about anything “free” given to those who do not seem to have earned the right to—whatever.
What we have forgotten is none of us “deserve” anything! It’s all a gift from God. We need to begin to live in the kingdom of God, instead of the kingdoms of this world or we will think exactly like the world and not like Jesus. We have to stop counting, measuring, comparing and weighing. We have to stop saying “I deserve” and deciding who does not deserve. None of us deserves anything; remember: we haven’t earned our salvation but are given it anyway. Conversion to this way of thinking is hard to do though, unless had the chance to experience that infinite mercy and realize that everything is a gift from God—all the time. Food for thought…