Bargaining with God
While reading the stories of the two thieves who were crucified with Jesus, I was struck by the brazen taunting of Jesus by the first thief. For whatever reason, this guy picks up the taunting of the crowd for Jesus to save Himself and prove that He is the Messiah, and of course, “Save me while you are at it.” Why would this guy do this to Jesus? Both of them were being executed. Both of them would be dead in a few hours. Why did this guy pop such an attitude with Jesus?
Well, my guess is, it is the way this guy had always operated. While we all remember the story of the dying thief on the cross who prayed to be remembered by Jesus, this guy is here to remind us that most people die pretty much the way they live. This guy was always working a scam, and now he was trying to scam Jesus. This first thief had always survived by his wits, and now he was trying to work one last con on Jesus. Yeah, I know, it’s a long shot, but it was the only shot he thought he had. . .most criminals are not known for their brilliance.
What struck me was how much of myself I saw in this guy. How many times have I demanded God do something, to prove Himself to me or to the world? How many times have I tried to taunt God into doing what I thought was the right thing to do?
Think about that. Does God have to be taunted into doing right? Does God have to be tricked into goodness?
Whenever we try to bargain with someone, we do so because we think the other person does not have our best interests at heart. Do we really believe that about God? Does God not have my best interest at heart? Do I have to trick Him into doing good for me? I hope not. I’m just not that smart.
Manipulation is the opposite of trust. To bargain with God is to not trust Him. I want to trust Him. So, here is my deal. . .no more deals. No more bargains. Just the Father. Just me—content in the love He has for me.