What does it cost?

We begin with scripture

“Without cost you have received, without cost you are to give” (Mark 10:8b).

Gratitude. Humility. Thankful. Sacrifice. Share.  These are all words that come to my mind as I read those verses, Mark 10:6-8. And I ponder what I have received without cost. And then it hits me, everything I have I have received without cost. How can I say that? On the surface it does not seem to make sense. I, like most people, regularly trade my time and talents for money; it is called work, career, or ministry. Our talents and time though, are gifts that we received from God Most High.

At the service of others

We can choose to put those at His service and for the good of others. I often find myself at odds with the second part of the verse, “without cost you are to give.” In fact, I can spend lots of time thinking about how much it costs me to give. How much does it cost me to give love, care, concern, kindness, mercy? It costs as much as I want to believe it costs. When I remember that all I have received has been without cost then I can give without counting the cost. But when I start to tally up when I have given and what I want in return, I am not the person God created me to be or the person I want to be. Does that ever happen to you?

Make a list of all that you have received from God! It can include intangibles like faith and hope, people you love, your talents, material goods, where you live. Try not to judge your list. Then, each day, pray for a few people from your list, ask God to help you grow in talent or use material things for His glory.

It is not easy to give without cost but that is what we are asked to do. The Incarnation is the beginning of Jesus giving to us. By virtue of that gift, we receive salvation. My prayer is for us to embrace the gift of salvation that we have received and share it with others by the way we live our lives without counting the cost.

Humility is not easy

Foundational Virtue

Humility is the virtue on which all others are built.  CS Lewis said this, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.” We are not being asked to not think of ourselves at all, but to not forget others.

For many people, it is difficult to let go of the need to be right, have the last word or let others know how great they are. Can we look instead at the model of Jesus?

Christ did not deem equality

So beings the beautiful Christological hymn from St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians. In chapter 2, verses 5-11 he tells us that though Jesus is the Son of God he was still obedient, even to death – for us.  And because of his humility, God exalts him.

Here is the entire hymn:

“Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus,Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, ecoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly  exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Phillipians 2:5-11

Jesus had humility

I think about that when I am prone to a lack of humility. I don’t have to have the last word; I don’t know everything; let someone else do it their way. It is better to wait to be asked your thoughts than to give them all the time. We know these things, and yet, we struggle. Maybe we are tired or overwhelmed and little things get to us more easily than usual. Let things go that are not harmful to you or others. And when it’s hard, come back to these verses. Because if Jesus did it, he will give you the grace and strength to do it, ask him.

Each day, pray these verses and ask Jesus to help you have humility in your interactions with others.