Today on the radio, I heard about family members and friends who have been offering large amounts of money to expectant couples in their family so that they can have a namesake. Thankfully, many couples have declined choosing to name their children as they decided.
I shook my head at the underlying pride in the request, “I will pay you to make sure I am remembered in the next generation.”
Then my husband reminded me it wasn’t just money offered to name children, people have paid to adopt children for reasons of pride for years.
Pride causes people to do some crazy things.
We don’t ask for help, because we don’t want to be seen as weak. We buy things we don’t need so we can seem “cool” to those around us. We strive and strain for accolades and praise so we can puff our chests out a bit more. We accomplish and shine and show off all the time –and then to make sure we have a bigger audience– we post these accomplishments on our news-feeds.
Why? When we all can quote the verse from Psalm 16:18, Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. We all know pride is wrong, but somehow we also buy the lie that we aren’t being prideful. We are just sharing our good news with someone.
Pride was a crucial part of the Fall in Genesis. Pride is what made Joseph’s brothers sell him into slavery. Pride is what drew the Jewish leaders to seek Jesus’ arrest. Pride is what makes us want to work for our salvation. It’s what makes us dress up our “pigs” in lipstick and pearls. Why? Why do we think this is necessary?
Because of sin. We believe, all too easily, that if we pay to get into something we have clout and the ability to direct the actions taken by the country club, the company, and sadly, some believe, the Church. And some allow, the Church.
We have been clearly told, that Grace is free. Free for the taking, free for the giving. Free!
The passage from Ephesians 2 says it best (bold mine):
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
For it is by grace you have been saved,through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
We don’t deserve anything we get from God, except for wrath. We are sinners in need of a Savior. Plain and simple. We cannot buy our way into Heaven. It is a gift, from our amazing Father, Who loves us so dearly, so powerfully, that He gave His Son for us, to pay the blood atonement for our sins (Exodus 30:10).
This FREE gift from God was already paid for, by Jesus. And that is a debt no amount of money can ever pay.
Don’t buy the lie that Heaven is something to be bought. We cannot afford the bill. Just receive the free gift offered by the One Who paid it all– for you and for me.