When I started my counseling practice I was going to a church out of town a couple of days a week and seeing clients.  There were not any Christian counselors in the area so one of the pastors, Duane,  provided an office for my use.  I am very grateful for the friendship I developed with this pastor and others in town.  They referred their church members to me, and it helped my practice get off the ground and before too long I had a full case load.

I always worked off of a sliding scale based on the client’s income and ability to pay.  Duane approached me one day and asked if I could take a lowered rate for a limited amount of clients a month who didn’t have the ability to pay.  He said the church would pay for their sessions.  Without giving it any thought I said of course.

I  quickly filled up the slots I had set aside for the clients supported by the church.  They were people who truly needed counseling and seemed very grateful that the church was paying their way.  They each very enthusiastically came to their first session.  I was glad to be able to help.  Duane was receiving great feedback.

About a month into this arrangement I learned a very important life lesson.  People tend to have less respect for, and less commitment to something in which they have no investment. Something is only worth what you pay.  Without a sacrificial investment an individual won’t make a sacrificial commitment.  It makes it easy to quit.

By the second session, these clients, who were being counseled for free, started skipping or being late for appointments.  I am not just talking about cancelling appointments, they would just not show.  The ones that did show did not put much effort into getting better.

Needless to say, we stopped offering free counseling.

You see this in the business world.  You can price a product low enough and customers will buy from a higher priced competitor.   They figure, there must be something wrong.  You only get what you pay for.

I think you see this same lack of respect and commitment in Christians toward their faith. 

Jesus paid for our salvation.  It was not something we could earn, it was a gift.  It was paid for at a high price, but Christians are not the ones who paid.  When one has that kind of attitude, it makes it easy to quit.

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.  Eph 2:8-9

I think the average Christian takes his salvation for granted.  We are saved by grace.  We are forgiven. 

The apostle Paul wrote; Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not!  Rom 6:1-2

He said of course not.  Are you kidding me? 

We should be motivated by the love and the grace we have received from God.  It should be our desire to live a sacrificial life for Christ because of the sacrifice He made for us.  He died for you and me.  He gave His life to save our life.

Paul wrote; “I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.”  Rom 12:1

If you put this kind of commitment into your faith, you will have buy in.  You will have the investment that will make it harder for you to quit.

A friend of mine always says, “We should have an atttitude of gratitude.” 

We should be worshiping God with our lives.  We should be making a sacrificial invesment with our hearts, minds and resources.

You didn’t have to pay for your salvation.  But Jesus paid a very high price ….

If you really want to worship God.  Make the sacrifice.  It will be worth the investment.

Question:  What does it look like to others when a person is a living holy sacrifice?

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