When you receive a gift, what is your response? Hopefully, you say, “Thank you,” but beyond that, how do you respond? Most of us, if we are honest, quickly think of some form of reciprocation. We think, What will I give this person in return for this gift?
Sometimes, people give expecting something in return. But hopefully, most of us give without any expectation of reciprocation. Still, we end up feeling obliged to do something. It’s the ‘catch’.
Some advertisers have trained us to think this way, haven’t they? We’re offered some great bargain on a gadget that we “just can’t do without”, and then offered a second gadget ‘free*’…where the asterisk means, “just pay additional shipping and handling” – conveniently approximating the cost of an additional gadget. Hmmmm…
It’s hardly a surprise, then, that many folks look at God’s gift of salvation in Jesus and ask, “What’s the catch?”
Part of the grace God gives us to believe involves the grace to receive. The only way we can accept that Jesus came to earth for us, died for us, and rose again for us, is to be able to accept that it’s a gift…a gift we can’t repay.
The only reciprocation we can offer God is the gift of ourselves – lives willing to live for him. But even that isn’t reciprocation. It’s discipleship.
When you receive a gift, receive it! Be thankful! And recognize that God, the greatest Giver, has given us his Son without expectation of reciprocation.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that everyone who believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3.16, NIV).