God on Monday
Now to one who works, wages are not reckoned as a gift but as something due
What mattered in Abraham’s relationship with God? That is the question addressed in Romans 4. It was not the rituals he performed, nor the uncertain journey he undertook. It was not even the sacrifices he was prepared to make. It was simply his faith. Only this counted as righteousness.
We live in a world of entitlement. We are brought up to know our rights: a roof above our heads, food on our table, an education, and much more. These are all great things that should be available to all. But one of the great insights of Romans 4 is that, for Abraham and for us, a relationship with God is not an entitlement but a gift.
A sense of entitlement can undermine our relationship with God. It blinds us from seeing the roof as a gift, the food as a blessing, and the degree course as a privilege. Such ingratitude thwarts the joy of receiving gifts freely given. And it can cause us to ‘lose our faith’ when bad things happen because, though we might never admit it, we think we deserve more. We do not know how to reconcile a loving God with the reality of our lives, and so we step away instead of stepping in.
Entitlement is a lonely way to live. Letting go of it is liberating. It releases us from a transactional view of God. We find that God’s love is freely given, rather than earned. We come to appreciate that we are showered with gifts of God’s love, even on the bad days, the stormy days and the dark days.
Take time to list and give thanks for those things that you generally take for granted. Ask God to show you areas where you have acted as though God owes you, and where perhaps you habour resentment that those things still appear to be owing. With the help of the Holy Spirit, set your heart straight.
You are a good God who loves me, not because of anything I do but because you chose me and made me. Thank you for all you have given me. Sorry for the times I have taken your gifts for granted. Help me to live a life that is humble, unentitled and grateful for all you do and are. Amen.
This Week's Author
, CEO of Restored
God on Monday is produced in partnership with the Church of England. The reflections are based on the scriptural readings designated for the coming Sunday in the Church's lectionary. You can sign up to Faith in Business here to receive each God on Monday instalment.
Feel free to share these reflections with your contacts via email and social media.