MY SON PAID THE BILL

Have you ever taken a friend out for a meal and offered to pay the entire bill?  Probably.  Have you ever decided to do that for a total stranger?  Fewer folks will say yes. Here’s the lesson in that.

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Random acts of kindness are always cool!    Not too long ago our family went out for dinner. Me and my wife, my son and his wife, my daughter and my grandson.  It was a big family celebration. There’s a lesson for us all in what happened next.

An elderly man with a cane entered and sat at the table next to ours, the baseball cap he wore identified him as a veteran.  He moved slowly, a bit unsteady in his walk; and it was obvious that this senior citizen’s best days were behind him. After he took his seat, my son turned to his wife and quietly said, “We’re paying his bill.” Then he got up from the table, made his way over to the waitresses station and used his credit card to cover the cost of the gentleman’s meal and the tip. The man had no idea that  whatever was on his bill had been paid by someone else.

So, what are the lessons for us, you may be wondering?    Here are a few  …

** WE’VE ALL GOT BILLS TO BE PAID

We’ve got big bills (like mortgage, rent, or medical expenses) and we’ve got smaller ones (like  buying coffee or a soft drink).  It’s nice to have someone else pay them.  It is always an expression of kindness, and sometimes even a demonstration of love. 

** THEY NEED TO BE PAID

Not paying your bills isn’t a viable option.  When you don’t pay the bill, you lose the thing you value. 

Stop paying your rent or mortgage and soon the house is gone. Quit making your car payments and you’ll be walking before you know it.  You can ignore the bill and pretend it isn’t coming due, but that never changes anything.  Bills get paid, or there are consequences.

One of the bills we all have to pay is the bill for our sinful choices.  That one is coming due, sooner or later, for all of us.  The price of our sin is death. Period. Full stop.  If you leave this earth without your bill being paid, the price is YOUR eternal life.

But there is good news.  Your Heavenly Father says, “My Son paid the bill.” 

** DON’T ORDER EXTRA

It’s pretty rude to order a lot of extra food when you’re out to eat and a companion offers to pay the bill.  You’d never say, “Oh, well if YOU’RE PAYING, then I want an appetizer. No, two appetizers.  And a couple of large steaks, a few different side dishes, and a big salad.  Bring three or four bottles of the most expensive wine you have.  And what’s on the dessert menu?????” 

Of course not!!! The apostle Paul says essentially the same thing in Romans 6 when he says, “Do we sin extra just because God promises to forgive us?  By no means!”  We understand that we are frail and weak humans who, try as we might, cannot live a perfect life.  But that is no excuse to “order extra” and abuse the grace of God.

I am grateful for the grace of God every day.  There’s a reason our first prayer in the Daily Office is our confession of sin.  But I still make every effort to live a holy life because I love Him.

**  THEY ONLY NEED TO BE PAID ONCE

If you buy a car on credit, you don’t keep sending payments to the bank once it has been paid off.  When you’ve fully paid your mortgage, you stop paying that, too.  No one looks at an old bill and says, “I think I’ll just pay this one again.”

Once you have confessed your sin to God, leave it with Him.  Don’t keep trying to “pay for it” again and again. 

Once a bill has been paid, it stays paid.

My final thought today is this …

I was pleased and proud when my son paid that elderly veteran’s bill.  Your Heavenly Father is delighted to tell you, “My Son paid the bill;” and celebrates when you accept the offer.

Let Jesus cover your debt of sin.  Christ suffered for our sin. He paid the bill.  Accept Him and be grateful.

It is MUCH BETTER than the only other alternative.

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