We don’t need to bring anything to God.
I know, I know. That’s engrained within us from childhood on, that God deserves our best, that we owe Him everything. I can still see the little drummer boy being sad because he didn’t have anything to give baby Jesus. And, like most bad ideas, this started out as a good idea, to fill our hearts with love and gratitude.
But if we’re honest, feeling that we need to bring something to God, that it’s our duty somehow, doesn’t inspire gratitude nearly as much as it just inspires guilt. It makes God no better than the parent who keeps reminding their child how much they’ve sacrificed to give their child all they have. Yes, it’s true, but it’s not what the voice of love would say, is it?
What do people keep trying to bring to God out of duty or guilt? I can think of three things: our sins, our goodness, and our trophies. And God really doesn’t need any of them.
We don’t need to bring God our sins. I know that sounds like heresy. Look, Jesus has already taken care of our sins. They’ve already been removed from us as far as the east is from the west. If we need reassurance from God of His unconditional love then by all means let him remind you and let Him cleanse your heart from any guilt you feel. But God is just as happy if we own the fact that we mess up, make anything right that we need to, forgive ourselves, and just move on.
We don’t need to bring God our goodness— how we obey the rules and are kind and tithe and don’t drink that kind of drink or listen to that kind of music or associate with those kind of people. Jesus had no regard for any of that when He walked this earth and He certainly doesn’t have any regard for it now. As I’ve written before, God is not grading you, He is not keeping score— He knows that His children are doing their best to be good and are good. He doesn’t want our goodness, He just wants our love.
Finally, we don’t need to bring God our trophies— all the things we’ve done to prop up our egos or make us feel good or special or worthy in our eyes or the eyes of other people. I don’t need to tell God that I’m a doctor or a writer or a devoted husband or a teacher of His truth. Trust me, He’s God— He loves me but is not impressed by my little trinket trophies. I don’t need to bring them to him and neither do you.
God isn’t about receiving, but about relationship. Let go of all the things you feel you need to bring to God, and just enjoy living your life in the company of the Trinity.