Thanks to Beyond Bath Time for publishing the following story:
In the car, Younger grumbled about several things in a row. So, as I often do, I asked him to name ten things he was thankful for. He mentioned Older in at least half of his thanksgivings. “I’m thankful that Older plays Sorry! with me… I’m thankful that Older plays in the pool with me…”
Younger is greatly enamored with Older, and unfortunately the feeling is not quite mutual.
After Younger finished his list, I announced that we would be stopping for a quick lunch. “Will you buy us pop?” asked Older. No, I wouldn’t. “But will you let us buy our own pop?” asked Older. Yes, I would. Older rejoiced, but Younger was sad because he did not have any money.
After a mile or so of silence, Older sighed heavily, and said, “I will buy your pop, Younger.” This was a nice gesture, but the words gave the impression of one being trapped beneath weighted objects.
Once we got inside the restaurant, I pulled Older aside and asked privately, “Do you feel like you have to buy Younger some pop because he said all of those nice things about you?” He nodded “yes” in a laborious sort of way. Apparently, Older valued each compliment at about $.25, and heaped together, the financial obligation was staggering!
When Older slid five quarters to the cashier, Younger could sense that it burdensome. We all could. Younger wasn’t sure if he should smile or frown. Would a compliment about Older’s generosity help? Or just create more obligations for Older?
None of this really made Younger feel special or honored. He wished that Older would’ve just smiled at the compliments; not sighed.
When I consider what Jesus has done for me, I sometimes feel a weighty debt pressing on me. With heavy sighs, I visit some shut-ins and then teach Sunday school. The more I consider Jesus’ kindness, the more heavy and burdensome my debt feels. Of course, can’t ever repay Jesus, but I feel that I should sacrificially pay down my debt in weekly increments.
It would be more honoring to my Lord if I simply smiled… not sighed. Jesus came to pay my debt, not create a debt for me.
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