There was once a boy named Tom who presented his mother with a bill.
The bill says, “The sum Mom owes Tom is as follows:
Mom should pay Tom $5 for helping mop the floor; $10 for buying mom daily necessities; $15 for babysitting my younger sister; and $20 for being a good boy. That comes to $50. Your son, Tom.”
Then Tom hung out cheerfully after making out the bill. In the evening, he came back and found 50 dollars at his bedside. Just when he was pleased about the reward offered by his mom, he saw another bill beside it. And he picked it up and read it with curiosity.
“The sum Tom owes Mom is as follows:
Mom charges Tom $0 for having given birth to little Tom after months of pregnancy; for worrying about and looking after Tom when he is ill, $0; for teaching Tom to talk, walk, and eat, $0. Mom prays to God every day for Tom to grow healthily and happily, Tom should pay $0. In total, Tom should pay Mom $0. Love, Mom.”
After reading mother’s bill for $0, Tom was quite ashamed. He walked stealthily up to his mother, who was preparing the dinner, and buried his hot face in his mother’s bosom, cautiously slipping the 50 dollars into her pocket.
Having just read the story, I merely laughed it off. After all, Tom was only a child, for what reason should we not forgive him for his innocence? But then, on reflection, I thought most people’s morbid mentality was also mirrored by the ignorant child’s idea. In this society full of material desires, a great number of things can be sold at marked prices. And it is natural that we gain our due reward in exchange for the price we have paid. Sometimes, those that are supposed to be the expressions of love at last turn into merciless bargains owing to our selfishness.
We used to be ones who wandered and were lost in the world, and it is thanks tothat we can come before God, so that we come to understand some truths, can discern good from evil, and beauty from ugliness, and can walk on the correct path to break away from Satan’s influence of darkness and march on toward a brilliant life. Recollecting the days of our first believing in God: How many times we have responded to God with silent tears in our prayers when we thought of His salvation and grace. How many times we have promised to give our whole lives to God. But after years of belief, when we sacrifice and suffer a little in our work, our selfish and greedy nature is revealed—we frequently take our devotion and sacrifice as the bargaining stock for God’s grace, demanding of Him to keep us so that our families always live harmoniously and peacefully, and moreover expecting Him to grant us a beautiful destination, and the blessing of the kingdom of heaven…. There are many items in our bill that we ask God to pay in our heart. In contrast, what has God demanded from us for all that He did for us mankind since the time of creation? God prepared the air, the sunshine, the rain and dew, various foods, and all the other conditions for us mankind to survive and to be able to thrive and reproduce. Moreover, after mankind was corrupted by Satan, in order to ensure their normal existence on earth, God issued laws and commandments and led man’s life for thousands of years. And later, in order to redeem mankind, who would soon be devoured by Satan, He Himself put on the flesh and was crucified for mankind. God also promised to return in to do the work of judging and purifying man, bestow all the truths man needs to be saved, so as to thoroughly destroy Satan and take man to a wonderful destination…. God has never demanded anything from humans for all He did. He does everything so that we human race will live and enjoy His love forever.
Faced with God’s such profound love and ardent expectations, will we still make demands of God and claim grace from Him for the sake of our own self-interests or because of our expending and suffering? We know that God hopes we can pursue the truth, forsake our flesh and abandon Satan to practice His words, truly love Him and care for His heart to expend for Him, and obey His teachings willingly and happily, so that we will live out the likeness of a creature with humanity and sense to comfort His heart. That is our duty and responsibility as God’s creation, and only by living that way can we be worthy of all that God selflessly supplies and gives to us.
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