Doing too much for someone else can lead to the receiver having contempt for the giver.  Parents know how this works, especially those parents who find themselves giving to the child pretty much whatever the child wants.  Rather than growing in gratitude, the child grows to thinking that the parental role is to “give me whatever I want.”  This in turn leads to the child having a self-centered world view, with other people being the planets revolving around them, the sun.  These comments most likely don’t surprise the reader.  It simply is what happens on the human level.

Nonetheless, in light of the scenario just described, allow me to extend the matter with this question.  Can God do too much for us for our own good?  Is it possible that rather than sensing appreciation for God’s gifts, we can be contemptuous of God’s good acts of grace and mercy?  Does God knowing that this can, and does, happen factor into God’s interaction with our requests to Him?

In response, I suggest that what God does for us has to be understood in terms and categories other than those used for a parent giving to an indolent child.  God gives us what we need to become His kind of people.  Only He can give that to us; no one else has it to give.  Additionally, His approach to our desires is governed by His knowing what satisfying those desires will do, both for the good and for the bad.  If God were to give us our desires in the way the parent can do, as mentioned in the first paragraph, we most likely would become contemptuous of God.

On the human level, spoiling a child is destructive.  On the level of God and us, God has no intentions of spoiling us.  He does have the intention of bringing us to spiritual and psychological maturation.  For us to not develop contempt toward the giver, even if the Giver is God, we need to understand at least two things.

First, we need to understand that what God gives us in grace is not a non-directed gift.  It has a purpose, and that purpose is other than to make us indolent.  Its purposes include service and praise.   Second, we need to understand that dependence on God to give us according to His wisdom is part of the way to productively live in a reality where God is the only independent being there is.

 

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