Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Is Something Better Than Nothing?

This is a question my husband and I debate often in my house? Depending on the topic, we alternate positions... sometimes I argue that something is better than nothing and other times I just say, "Why bother?" Of course, I'm always advocating the former when I'm the one in the "dog house." The flip side being that I also say, "Why bother?" when I've been the one wronged, so to speak... and I think my husband would agree that his stance is the same. Again, perspective is a funny thing, isn't it?

Chan offers some insight into this: "This holy God deserves excellence, the very best I have. 'But something is better than nothing?' some protest. Really, is it? Does anyone enjoy token praise? I sure don't. I'd rather you not say anything than compliment me out of obligation or guilt. Why would we think God is any different?" p. 92

The truth here is that a "compliment" or a "thank you" given out of obligation or guilt isn't genuine. For instance, the other day, I took a toy away from my son because it was partially broken, creating a new and incredibly exciting weapon to use against his sisters. I immediately took the toy away from him, despite his relentless protesting. I told him that he should thank me because I was saving him from bigger trouble later. Well... he thanked me. But, it definitely wasn't sincere. I dare say it was sarcastic... He gets that from his father! (Of course, those that know me... know that he completely gets it from me!!!!) However, the thanks I received from his two sister, for ending their brother's tormenting, was completely sincere. Their hugs were genuine and their words of love were joyous. Both were offerings of thanks... but both were completely different. One truly made me feel loved and appreciated... and the other made me want to give someone a swift kick in the pants.
When we're on the receiving end, intentions always seem to matter. So why is it that when we're the ones giving, we don't hold ourselves to the same standard? Maybe we're not aware of the double standard? Maybe we genuinely feel that something IS better than nothing? Or maybe we've never taken the time to look at things from another perspective?
Take some time to look at this from God's perspective. Take a hard look at everything you give to Him... not just your money. (Your service for Him, your quiet time with Him) Are you giving Him "just enough" or are you giving Him your best? Or are you not giving Him anything at all?

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