Since being diagnosed with cancer in December my wife and I have been on the receiving end of a lot of generosity. Our church family has been wonderful as have our blood family, relatives, and friends.
The result of being on the receiving end of such generosity has been to make me desire to be more generous myself. I’m fairly certain that I’ve shed more tears as a result of people’s generosity than I have from the cancer situation itself. I did nothing to deserve anyone’s generosity and so it hits me emotionally every time.
By God’s grace this isn’t a debtors ethic that I’m carrying around. That is, I don’t feel I have to pay people back because they have paid me with something. Rather, the grace of others toward me has shown me how beautiful it is to give and has made me want to be that way toward others.
And isn’t that how it’s supposed to be with our relationship with God? His grace toward us is not license to sin further or seek to pay him back – as though God needs anything from us! It compels us and transforms us to love him more and obey out of a joyful and glad heart rather than through strict requirement.
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. – Paul, Romans 6:1-4 (TNIV).