I create mutually beneficial relationships for a living. Sometimes they’re technical, sometimes business, but I’ve gotten pretty good at measuring ROI on a relationship. If I’m not careful, I’ll do this to personal relationships and starting finding the most satisfaction in friendships that are good mutual investment opportunities.
This comes so natural to me that I’ve forgotten that God does not view me the same way.
It’s so easy to think that God wants some kind of trade out of me. That affirmation of mutual ROI can be found in blessing. That lack of blessing must mean I’m not keeping up with the expectations God has for me.
But this notion I sometimes have that I’m giving to God in a way that pleases Him to earn His love and grace amounts quickly to pride — and maybe some other sins too. The truth is, I am a bad investment. I have nothing to give back to Him that isn’t His to begin with, and my tiny gifts are empty useless offerings before the God of the universe. He does not love me because of what I can give Him — if He did, I would be in trouble! And He does not accept me based on my obedience to His commands. My relationship with God is not mutually beneficial. It’s one-sided, unfair and selfish.
And He’s OK with that, because He made me and He knows that next to Him I am nothing, I have nothing, and I can contribute nothing. The wonder of it all is that He loves me anyway. Oh! how He loves me.

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