Does the Cost of the Gift Matter? – Guest post by Kathy Richards (Katdish)

Someone told me yesterday that they see me as a ‘hub’ for other bloggers. My first thought was “If they think that about me, they should meet Katdish!”

Kathy Richards, AKA Katdish is one of the most powerful internet tornado’s I have ever met. Katdish’s energy is matched only by her generosity towards other bloggers and her support of them. It is truly an honor to have met Katdish and I feel blessed that she offered to write one of her amazingly deep posts for my blog.

I hope you enjoy her post and I thoroughly recommend that you enter her whirlwind by following her on twitter and reading her blog.

Does the Cost of the Gift Matter?

Awhile back I wrote a silly little post on my blog entitled The ABC’s of Crap in my Purse where I mentioned that since the purse was a gift from my generous sister, I really had no idea how much it cost. That is, until I dripped white paint on it (occupational hazard) and went shopping to find its replacement. I was quite shocked at the price and decided that I could live with a little spot of white on the otherwise brown leather bag. Besides, the more I looked at it, the more I convinced myself a little imperfection added character to that otherwise high brow handbag.

And then another thought occurred to me. A question, to be more specific: Does the price of the gift matter? Would I have been more careful with that gift had I understood its value?

Then my mind turned to thoughts of my own salvation (hang on people – a visit inside my head can be a jarring experience). Did I really appreciate the price that was paid for the gift of eternal life? If actions speak louder than words, then did my actions reflect my understanding of the ultimate price that was paid as Jesus bore the sins of the world – past, present and future? Add to that my understanding that He would have endured all of the agony He suffered if it was just to save me?

I had to admit, my answer was a resounding “No”.

But the why is what’s so troubling to me. How could I not? Salvation is a gift freely given, but it’s not cheap.

When the rich young man approached Jesus and asks what he must do in order to inherit eternal life, Jesus tells him to keep the commandments. It seems the young man is relieved when he says, “All these I have kept since I was a boy.” (Luke 18:21) Then Jesus lays the hammer down on him when He says, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (Luke 18:22)

So what does the young man do? He becomes very sad and he walks away. From the right hand of God. From eternal life. He understood what was being offered, and yet he chose not to accept it.

Do we do this? Do we pledge to put Christ first in all that we do and then hope and pray we won’t be asked to give up all the things we put before Him? I won’t speak for you, but I’m pretty sure I do. Does the cost of the gift matter? Furthermore, do we understand what we are giving up if we choose the temporary over the eternal?

14″To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:
These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. 19Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. 20Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. 21To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Revelation 3:14-22)

God help me. I don’t want to be lukewarm. I don’t want to be spit out. Let me not cling to what is but filthy rags compared to what is truly of value.

Do you fully appreciate the cost of the gift you’ve received and are you prepared to truly put Christ first?