Everyone knows that when someone gives you a gift, it’s impolite not to thank them for it, but it’s downright insulting to try to PAY them for it.
“Oh, hey, about the Christmas present – how much do we owe you, John?”
Can you imagine the reaction? “I was doing something out of the goodness of my heart, and you think I’m being mercenary by doing it? (Bleep) you, ex-friend, (bleep) you.”
What’s the greatest gift you’ve ever received?
Hint: what if I capitalized the “g”?
The greatest Gift of my lifetime was the salvation of my eternal soul, the Gift of knowing that when my time on earth has finished, I will spend the rest of eternity in Heaven with my Lord. Jesus Christ gave me (and you, if you’re a Believer) this gift by paying the debt to God for my sins through His punishment and crucifixion, a debt I could not pay because of my flawed humanity. I have no tangible way of repaying Him, but then again, it was a GIFT. Jesus isn’t expecting or wanting to be repaid. He just wants to be thanked, through our prayers and such each day.
There are so many people who think they STILL have to PAY their way into Heaven, insulting the Gift-Giver by trying to pay His Sacrifice back by “earning” our way into Heaven the though our good deeds anyway. In fact, there are entire SECTS of “Christians” doing this.
Very late in our marriage, my first wife was in need of a procedure called a hysteroscopy, to solve some issues dealing with – well, look it up. (I want this to stay a blog that children can read.) As the only employed member of the household at the time, and especially considering I had excellent health insurance, obviously I told my wife of thirteen years that we’d get it done as soon as possible. Her answer stunned me: “No, I want to wait until I can pay for it myself.”
At that moment, I knew that our marriage was over.
There had been issues for over a year at that point, but it was at that moment that I understood that she did not WANT to be associated with me anymore, and that a divorce was in the very near future. Sure enough, she left me and the children about a month later.
When we decide that we need to REFUSE the Gift He’s given us, we are refusing a relationship with God Himself. Just as the mother of my children made clear to me, by refusing my hospitality, my “gift”, so to speak, we are making clear to Christ that we do not want Him in our lives.
And, ever the Gentleman, He steps out of the way and allows us to go on our merry way, eternally separate from His Love. After our death, that means a real place called Hell.
Don’t refuse Christ’s Gift. Don’t refuse His Love.
Your rejection of that present has consequences that will last you literally FOREVER.