While shopping a few months ago, I picked up a bouquet of flowers for Sue. When checking out, the clerk said, “Looks like someone did something wrong and is trying to get out of the doghouse.” Now I’m not saying I never bought Sue flowers to soothe over troubled times, but that was a long, long time ago. Truth be told, when I went into the store that day I saw the flowers and thought of Sue and how much she loves me and I love her.
I wonder how often that clerk had men come through the line buying flowers saying, “I hope this makes things better at home”? How many customers were looking to enhance the spreadsheet of their marriage by putting a plus in the credit line and by so doing, eliminate a debit for something done? I wonder if that clerk saw the bouquets going through her checkout line and wished that just once, she’d get flowers just because someone loved her? Just because of love. Not because it was Mother’s Day or her birthday or Valentines Day or because of last night’s fight. Just because.
When love becomes a spreadsheet we deal in credits and debits. We keep records of rights & wrongs. We seek to buy forgiveness, affection, or perhaps just hope for a temporary truce. It’s human nature to slip into this kind of reasoning. More to the point, it’s our fallen human nature that leads us to think and act this way.
Love is a gift God gives us. We know and experience love because God is love and we are made in His image (1 John 4:7-8; Genesis 1:27). A spreadsheet is the last thing love is…..this isn’t love as created by God at all. Spreadsheet love is a creation of fallen, sinful man. It will always fall short of God’s image in us. As a matter of fact, it is evidence that the image of God in us has been distorted and marred by sin.
God loved us so much that He gave His Son Jesus to die on Calvary’s Cross to pay the penalty of sin (Romans 5:8). He gave His Son not because He did wrong, but because we did. The Father gave His Son because He loves us. Take a moment and meditate on this truth. God loves you and offers you more than a bouquet of flowers. He offers you His love. He reaches His eternal arms out to you so that you can know His love and find forgiveness forever in His embrace. The embrace of genuine love and eternal life.
Do you approach God with a spreadsheet mentality? Do you say, “I hope when I die I did enough good in this world to make it to heaven.” My friend, that won’t cut it. It’s not love. It’s a piece of paper with credits and debits. It’s a computer program that will ultimately crash and you will lose.
Reach out to God and receive the true embrace of love. Confess your sin and run to Love….run to God. His arms are open wide for you.
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