Several weeks ago, my husband and I gifted an acquaintance of mine with a practical item they very much needed. It cost us several hundred dollars but we felt it was an important gift because this person had just gone through an extended time of unemployment and financial difficulty. We wanted to bless them.
The person was initially very appreciative but, almost immediately, problems arose. They had complaints about the gift, and they kept trying to trade it in for something better. And in their interactions with the company, they were demanding and difficult.
My husband and I actively tried to move the situation to a favorable outcome. But, four weeks later, a continuing litany of text messages made it painfully evident that our efforts had been in vain. So we decided it was wisest for extricate ourselves and let this person handle things themselves.
They declined the gift.
The old proverb “never look a gift horse in the mouth” came to mind. Since horses’ teeth grow over time, checking their length is a way of gauging old age, and therefore a sign of mistrust towards the giver. So, in a nutshell, the proverb conveys that, when receiving a gift, be grateful for what it is and don’t imply you wished for more by assessing its value.
It made me think about the greatest gift of all… the gift of salvation. About how many don’t see it as a gift at all. Oh, they may accept it for a period of time but they’re never really very happy with it. They want it to be something else. Or they feel it can be improved upon. Or they have difficulty accepting that it’s free.
They would feel better if they had paid something towards it or had done something to earn it because then the gift would be on their terms.
And so, they ultimately reject the gift.
It was such a terrible feeling when our gift was rejected that it pains me to think of how God must feel when literally millions of people have rejected His gift throughout history. And yet He has never withheld the gift because so many have rejected it. He still graciously and generously continues to offer the gift to everyone… without exception… in the hopes that even a few will accept it.
It reminds me how it important it is to keep giving, no matter what. We’re not responsible for the outcome, only the opportunity.
I’ll leave you with another proverb…
“If you receive a gift, don’t measure it.”