World War II cost the United States over 300 billion dollars. The government funded the war through increased taxes and selling war bonds. Celebrities would peddle the bonds. Communities would have bond rallies, offering pie and coffee in exchange for the purchase of war bonds. And of course, the posters.
“Doing all you can, Brother?” How could you not buy some bonds? He’s bleeding. He’s defending your country. Shouldn’t you feel obligated to buy some bonds?
Yes. You should. The people in the military are amazing and deserve all our support. It’s because of them we have the freedom to complain about our coffee being too hot and the air conditioning being too cold. You should feel obligated to support those who are supporting you.
But when it comes to God, this approach doesn’t work. Yet I’ve heard this approach again and again. God has done this for you. You should feel obligated to do/live/believe/be that in return.
How does this make sense? Imagine. I don’t believe in God. You tell me that the thing I don’t believe in created me, and because of that I should feel obliged to obey the thing I don’t believe in.
Or this one that I saw one time. A guy’s got a watch. He gives me the watch, telling me it’s worth $50, but it’s a gift. I tell him I need to give him something for it. He tells me, No. It’s a free gift. I take the watch, and then he tells me, “Remember, take good care of the watch.” Damn it! Now I’m obligated. It wasn’t free at all.
But it is. It is free. It all begins and ends with God’s love. Every good thing in between is gratitude. Don’t be obligated. Be grateful.