Are you a grateful recipient?
Treating gifts as achievements and entitlements, we have failed dismally as recipients. Shouldn't the giver deprive us of gifts - at least, future gifts - if we can't even recognize them as gifts and instead claim them as our own well-earned possessions?
A human giver might see it that way. But God acts differently. God continues to give, refusing to make giving dependent on our receiving things rightly. Indeed, since our very existence is a result of God's grace, If God were to stop giving, we would stop existing."
Willing as God is to continue giving even after we have failed as recipients, shouldn't God at least want to recast the relationship? "You don't know what it means to receive gifts', God might say, 'so from now on, I'll give only if you face up to what you've done and act responsibly. first you've got to get yourself out of the deep hole dug by your sin, and then if you live up to my standards, you'll get the appropriate rewards'.
But we cannot crawl out of sin's hole on our own. In fact, the more we attempt to crawl out on our own, the deeper we sink. When we attempt to free ourselves on our own, we deny the true source of our goodness and 'wrong' God by claiming for ourselves what is God's. We sin by trying to overcome sin 'on our own'. In the words of the Apostle, we "nullify the grace of God" and declare that "Christ died for nothing" (Galatians 2:21) Nothing we can do can either get us out of sin's hole or prevent us from falling into it. Only God can.
Then what does God do with us? We mishandle God's gifts and fall short, and God gives us more - the gift of freedom from the guilt and power of sin. "Since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God", wrote the apostle Paul, "they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith" (Romans 3:23-25)
God gives gifts, God cancels the debt we incur by improperly receiving them, and then God gives us the ability to receive gifts properly."
This is an exert from the book - Giving and Forgiving by Miroslav Volf
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