Thanks – but no thanks


The Gift of Life!

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We all like to be given things.  We like to count our gifts – “counting your blessings” it’s called.  Because “gifts” are always good things.  Never bad things.  The gift of life – the gift of health – the gift of happiness – the gift of love – the gift of new life – the gift of wisdom (or the “the gift of hindsight”) – the gift of this, that and the other.

So many gifts!  And always “good gifts”.  Even the bible gets in on the act: “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone?” Matthew 7:9

The bible encourages gifts and the asking thereof.  Spiritual gifts, gifts of life, gifts of eternity, gifts freely available if you just ask.  And believe.

For asking without believing makes no sense at all.

But nor does this embedded reliance on our “gifting-getting gene”.  This embedded acceptance of being given (always good) things.   Because things that are given are reliant on something or someone other than me.  And things that are given can be taken away.  And “things given” always come with a price tag.

“I got given sin.” Oh really – and who gave you that?  “God did. I never asked for it – he just made me born a sinner saved by grace.” And what is grace?  “It’s the gift of being forgiven for something I never did or asked for.” Oh really – well that makes perfect sense (not).

I was given the gift of life.

Never asked for that either.  Nor did I ask for the “gift of death”.  Or the “gift of ill-health”.  Or the gift of “never being good enough”.  Nor all the “bad gifts” I never asked for.  I just keep being given “gifts” I never asked for and never wanted.

Like “conditional love”.

I used to have “love without condition” as a wee nipper.  Then “they” took that away and replaced it with sin.  Or “Love WITH conditions” (I call it).

And now I have to do this to get that – I have to wait for that to get this.

And so much of the time I give all of this and never get any of that back at all.  And when I give all of this and never get any of that back … I get bitter and twisted and angry.  And that – I think – is “the gift” of Conditional Love – “the gift” of bad stuff I never wanted …

The gift of never being good enough – never loved enough – never safe enough.  In fact I think the “gift of sin” is the root of all evil.  Because the “gift of sin” makes everything “conditional” and out of my control.

And if I never can be free of sin (in this lifetime) … is that REALLY the gift of “love without condition” … and why the need for me to be saved (for something I never did) before I can be “loved unconditionally”  – just not in this lifetime … ?

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I only ask because …

Love without condition I enjoyed when I was a wee nipper.  And as a child growing-up.  Love without condition I enjoyed when betrothed.  Love without condition I know as a husband.  Love without condition as a brother with brothers and sisters remains even now we are all grown-up.  Love without condition always as a father.  And as a cousin and nephew and uncle (or some label “twice removed”).  And love without condition now as a grandfather.  The common thread throughout my whole life is love without condition …

NOW and in THIS lifetime.

So why the “gift of sin” (the gift of “conditional love”) I was taught is my “gift”?  Sin is not “a gift” anyone would give to anybody.

“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone?”

So why “God” – why all the “gratitude and debt stuff – all the “bad gift” stuff that binds me for ever?

I reject that.

I never wanted “sin” and never will.

So thanks – but no thanks.

I choose love without condition.

Now and always.

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