Let’s Make a Deal is a TV game show that first aired in 1963 and was rebooted in it’s current format in 2009. Audience members dress up in crazy costumes and get selected as contestants, referred to as “traders” in the game to make deals with the host. The catch (or maybe appeal to some) in the deal is the trader doesn’t know if he or she is getting a good or bad deal (zonk). It all depends on what’s behind the curtain, or door, the trader selects.
Some people love the thrill of the deal; they love the back and forth negotiations and everything involved in the bargaining process. Sometimes the deal is good & sometimes the deal is a zonk – and sometimes that’s secondary to the thrill of the deal.
There are people who apply this bargaining approach to relationship with God, but bargaining misses the point of relationship with God and doesn’t align with God’s approach to relationship with us. In part 6 (Bargaining Point) of CCC’s Starting Point series, better starting points than bargaining were uncovered.
Take a few minutes to read Ephesians 2:1-10 and consider the following questions about how bargaining misses the point of relationship with God and God’s approach to relationship with us.
- What is something you’ve bargained for?
- Why do you think there are “no atheists in foxholes”?
- What would you describe as disobedience and sin in relationship to/with God?
- How would you describe “death” as the consequence/outcome of sin?
- What do you think it means for someone to be “dead in sin”?
- How would you define mercy? When is a time you have been the recipient of mercy?
- What do you think it means that God is “rich” in mercy?
- What is the difference between mercy driven by pity and mercy driven by love?
- How is God’s great love for us the driving force behind his mercy?
- How would you define grace?
- Why is grace considered a gift?
- What are some of the ways people try to “earn” God’s grace? How is this a bargaining approach with God?
- In what ways does grace eliminate bargaining for right relationship with God?
- What do you think it means to “believe” in God’s grace? How is this belief more about heart-level trust than mere head knowledge?
- What next steps will you take to end bargaining and trust God’s grace?
God’s approach to relationship with us removes bargaining from the equation. Why? Because God is rich in mercy, because of his great love for us, and because of grace. There is nothing we can do to make God love us more, and there is nothing we can do to make God love us less. God loves us as we are but too much to leave us that way. Mercy, love, and grace are much better starting points for relationship with God than bargaining.
Today is Monday – make it a day that you end bargaining and trust God’s grace.