Recently, I experienced the Starbucks pay it forward phenomenon. It was cool, yes, but when you pay for the coffee of the people behind you, are you really paying anything forward? I mean, you are paying for theirs basically because someone paid for yours. There is nothing inherently selfless about that. You can get a hundred cars who will do that. The only selfless person, the only real giver in that scenario is the person who started it. They are the one who will reap the eternal reward.
You see, the Starbucks drive-thru line paying it forward phenomenon is warm and fuzzy and makes internet creepers happy, but it’s really just an example of the world’s way of giving. It is giving after receiving. It is not selfless. It is not unconditional.
Jesus went to the cross for us because of His great love for humanity, and there isn’t a one of us who is qualified to pay Him back. All that God does for us is unmerited, undeserved. All His wondrous promises are laid before sinners like a banquet for which we did not buy a ticket. That’s His very nature. He loves and He gives.
John 3:16 says, for God so loved the world that He gave.
Oh, that we would do the same.