Something that has always rubbed me the wrong way are conditional agreements. I’m not talking about contracts where each side is negotiating their terms. What I am talking about are those moments when you ask someone for a favor, and they respond with “only if you will….”. Or, even better, when someone approaches you to do a kind deed and then slips in the terms. I just don’t like it.
I think it is because I don’t operate that way. If you ask for a favor, I am going to say yes or no… but my answer is not going to be dependent on what you can do for me. If I do a favor for you, it is because I want to help not because I want something out of it.
If you do me a favor, I only want you to do it if you want to. It’s a heart issue, I suppose. I was always taught to give without expectation of return, even if what I was giving was my time. As an adult I learned to give money instead of loaning it. I also learned how to value my time better so that I didn’t say yes to everything and burn myself out. It also meant I learned how to accept no as an answer without getting upset.
I’ve also learned over the years I don’t like conditions in other aspects of relationships. I don’t want to be your friend, if the conditions are that I must agree with everything you say and do. I don’t want to be your friend if I have to change who I am in order for us to keep the peace.
I just hate conditions. I also think that is the absolute beauty in God’s gift of salvation, and His love for His children. God did give us conditions. The Ten Commandments and The Great Commission, for example. However, what the Old Testament Reveals to us is that as much as man tries, he is virtually incapable of following them. He knew this, and still loved us anyway. He knew this was an impossibility for us, and gave us His son to bear our iniquities.
This is not an excuse that allows us to continue to live in the flesh, in spite of His conditions. It is an assurance that even though we can’t, His love doesn’t waiver. Our salvation doesn’t balance the line of conditions, fluctuating based on our ability to walk that line. Our salvation hung on a cross.