What Are You Willing to Give Up?

Most of our lives are spent in the never-ending struggle to obtain things – love, happiness, money, things, family, the list is long.  We bargain, labor, conjole, threaten, plead, beg, and do whatever is necessary to obtain what we want, and think we have to have.

Some of the things we get are for our own pleasure, while some of the things we obtain are for others.

The interesting thing about all this is this – apparently, the measure of our devotion and commitment to God is not measured on what we get, but on what we are willing to give, or more precisely, what we are willing to give up.

Of course, there is a difference between what we are willing to give, and what we are willing to give up.  We can give and still have something left over, but to give up something implies it may be gone forever.  This moves us into a different realm altogether, as we may have no difficulty giving things to God, as long as we still have something for ourselves, but when asked to give something up that may never come back our way, that is a whole different story.

To say goodbye to something you may never receive again is not a trivial matter, especially when that something means something special to you.  In other words, giving up something that means little to you is no big deal, but when we give up things that matter to us then it truly is a sacrifice.

Now the obvious question – does God ask us to give up something?

Well, of course, He does.

3,000 years ago King David could have told you a thing or two about what it means to give up something for God.  David had sinned, and because he had sinned there was a terrible plague upon the people.  When David cried out to the Lord, the plague stopped, and the very house where the plague stopped David wanted to turn into an offering to God.  The owner of the place told David that he could have it for free, no cost.  How easy it would have been for David to take him up on his generous offer.  David made the statement, “God forbid, that I should offer something to the Lord God that cost me nothing.”  Much wisdom is tied up in that simple statement.  If we could get it into our head, heart, and spirit, that nothing is worthwhile that doesn’t cost us something, we would be so much better off.

Why should we offer things to God that cost us nothing, or mean nothing to us?  Why would God be pleased in those things?

No, the challenge is in giving up things that mean something to us, that cost us something.  Things that we may love and hold dear.  Things that we do not want to give up.

The early disciples understood this concept.  The early church understood this concept.  But, I’m not certain, 2,000 years later, we really understand this concept.  We often tell people that serving God has benefits, and it does.  We tell people they will be blessed, and they are.  We tell people they have a bright future, and they do.  But, do we tell them there is a price to pay?

Our ticket to heaven is free, paid for.  But, everything else must be purchased by our own effort, and sacrifice.  I’m not saying you can purchase your blessings, or bargain with God.  I’m saying that service to God requires us to give something, and not things that cost us nothing.  For as David so clearly stated over 3,000 years ago, “God forbid that I would offer something to God that cost me nothing.”

One Response to “What Are You Willing to Give Up?”

  1. beamcguire@gmail.com Says:

    I loved this blog. Jenn preached a message not long ago entitled, “If it Cost Me Nothing!” I’ll never forget it. Right along the lines of your blog. As Christians I think we too often forget about the “cost” factor! It really does have to cost us something but oh the rewards! As always, thank you again for words of wisdom. Blessings….

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