A couple summers ago I had an opportunity to spend several days in what seemed like another world. My wife and I were invited by her cousins, Lloyd and Glenda, to spend several days on their $3 million yacht cruising the San Juan Islands of Washington. Lloyd and Glenda are what many would call the “haves” – as opposed to the “have-nots”. I think it’s worth noting that it’s usually the “have-nots” that tend to make the distinction between themselves and the “haves”.
As we walked down the dock past the lines of rich people and multi-million dollar yachts, my mind was engaged in a battle. On one hand, I was awed by the beauty of the ocean, charmed by the quaintness of the little harbor town, impressed by the enormity and number of the yachts, and enjoying absolutely beautiful weather on a late-summer day. On the other hand, my soul was screaming “I don’t belong here!” It was almost like I couldn’t look other people in the eye, like I was ashamed of my unworthiness of being counted with that class of people. To be clear, none of the “haves” seemed to look down on me, in fact, they were generally very friendly. It was my own internal junk that was negating an otherwise perfectly wonderful day.
As I continued my awe-struck walk down the dock the turmoil inside me still raged. And then, in that moment, the Holy Spirit revealed to me what the problem was. It was pride. You see, I wasn’t paying for any of this. It was all free. Lloyd and Glenda love pastors and they love to bless them with all-expense paid trips on their yacht, and my wife and I were on the receiving end of this blessing. But I wasn’t paying anything for it – and that was my problem. My prideful attitude of “paying my own way” was keeping me from enjoying the chance of a lifetime.
At the same time that the Lord was telling me to relax and enjoy the blessing, He was also showing me how many people feel about Him. Many people can’t seem to receive the multiple blessing of God because they haven’t “paid” for them.
Many people can’t seem to receive the multiple blessing of God because they haven’t “paid” for them.
There’s some sort of inborn (or maybe inbred) pride in all of us that make us think we have to earn our blessings. When it comes right down to it, it’s a pride issue. The blessings that God has for you have already been paid for by the shed blood of Jesus Christ. One of the greatest joys for Lloyd and Glenda is to share the blessings God has poured out on them with others. If that’s true for them, how much more true is it for God himself? I’m not necessarily talking about monetary riches here, nor am I ruling it out. The fact is that Jesus told us He came to bring us an abundant life. A life full of blessings that are meant to be passed on. A life of peace, joy, love, financial security, health, contentment, etc,.
So just as I learned to accept a “free” blessing that week yachting around the San Juan Islands, God is teaching me to accept the “free” blessings He has for me so that I can say with assurance, “I belong here!”