I’m sure most of us have been in a situation where we’ve had to terminate a relationship, whether it was romantic or otherwise, due to a lack of reciprocity. We constantly emptied ourselves of all that we had to give and received very little in return. This says nothing about our value or who we are as a person and is only proof that the relationship meant more to us than it did to the other person. This is always a clear sign that it’s time to move on. There is one relationship, though, in which we will always be the the one giving less than we are given yet we never have to worry about being cut off.
We know that we were created for God’s glory and for His purposes but we often fail to fulfill that. He gives of Himself to no end and we take and take without hesitation or without so much as a thought of what we can do in return. In Psalms 116 we have an unidentified psalmist who recalls all that God has done for him; from saving him from death, hearing his cries for help and delivering him from affliction to giving his soul peace in the midst of his troubles. After reflecting on all the ways that God had dealt “bountifully” with him he asks, “What shall I render to the Lord, for all his benefits toward me?”(Ps. 116:12).
Any effort to repay God for His goodness is futile but I’m certain that He wouldn’t be offended by our attempts to do so. I want to remind you that my goal is to equip God’s people for ministry (read my purpose again here) and then move them to action; for this reason, I want you to start thinking about what you will render. It’s okay to give God the fruit of your lips but more than that He wants the work of your hands.
What will you render to the God of your salvation? The God who healed you, loved you when you weren’t easy to love, showed you favor when you did nothing to deserve it, and took you back every time you played the harlot by loving things more than you loved Him? Don’t wait for opportunities to repay His kindness but instead create those opportunities to do so. The Assistant Pastor at my church constantly reminds us that we are the 5th gospel and the only Bible that most folks will ever read. We must keep that in mind in our daily dealings with the people around us.
Instead of reaching our hand out to receive, let’s stretch it out to give to those right next to us that are standing in need. Jesus lets us know in Matthew 25 that when we give food to those that are hungry, give drink to those that are thirsty, clothe those that are naked, visit those that are sick and go to those that are in prison, it is as though we have done these things unto Him. So while we are unable to give God an even exchange of His love and kindness towards us, we can redirect our efforts by showing that same love and kindness towards His children. As far as He’s concerned, that’s just as good.