I arrived at our local regional park prepared with the six quarters necessary for the machine that controlled the mechanical arm blocking the way to the entrance of the park. I deposited the six quarters and looked forward anticipating the mechanical arm to raise. Much to my surprise, I realized there was no mechanical arm attached to the machine at all. It had been removed for some reason. Nothing had prevented me from entering the park all along–I just hadn’t paid attention to its absence.
“I just wasted my six quarters,” I exclaimed. “I could have gone in free!”
That’s just like we perfectionists who are very good at depositing our quarters of good works in an effort to earn entrance into God’s love.
“Here, God, is my quarter of loving that person I hate. Do you love me now?”
“Here, God, is my quarter of having my devotional time today. Do you love me now?”
“Here, God, is my quarter of serving in the nursery even though I would rather go to the service. Do you love me now?”
We put in our quarters, while all along, the mechanical arm that should block us from God’s love is not there. Jesus died on the cross in our place and has shattered the obstacle to God’s unconditional love. Instead of putting in the quarters, we can move forward into experiencing God’s love.
Certainly, God does want us to obey him, to love others, to have our quiet time with him, and to serve in our church. But those things should be done out of our love for him—not as a means of earning his love and our entrance into heaven.
Are you willing to give up depositing your quarters trying to earn God’s love? He wants you to know his incredible, unconditional love so that you no longer have to feel like he doesn’t approve of you. He loves you and wants only the best for you.