Goodbye to Contracts
By Harry Hebert
My Mother never gave me a contract. She gave me birthday cards, Christmas cards and later, happy anniversary cards, each containing an expression of her love for me,…..but never a contract. I do recall that throughout my lifetime she would tell me that she loved me, and that she always would. That is the nearest to a contract I received. Never did she equip me with a signed document listing in detail possible acts of performance that could be enforced in a contractual manner. My children have never received more from me, and yet they are content that the stability of my love for them will always be sufficient. As simple as this is, I confess that for three or more entire readings of the Bible, I had been searching for contractual provisions that could be relied upon as I exercised my faith. It was an error for me to do so.
The constant unchanging nature of my Mother gave credibility to my confidence that I would always be loved, no matter what. When we choose to rely upon God’s love, this would be a risky venture if his behavior was whimsical and varying. The Bible, however, attests that he is unchanging:
“For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.” Malachi 3:6
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” James 1:17
Men took the old writings of the Jews and later Christian writings and bound them together, electing to call them Old Testament and New Testament respectively. Many interpret this to mean Old Contract (or covenant) and New Contract. I reacted incorrectly to all of this. Properly understood, such writings were accounts of God’s expressions of love and promises to love and sustain spiritually.
I always had my pen ready to make notes of the promises that could be relied upon for my material well being and prosperity in this lifetime. My pen went dry from lack of usage. Although Jesus urged his disciples to trust in the great and wonderful promises of God, the ones he referenced always had to do with the security of the believer in spiritual and eternal matters. In no instance could I find suggestions that one’s spiritual growth could result in material prosperity, guaranteed good health, freedom from the accidents of time, or anything of the sort. His kingdom is spiritual, and the promises have to do with spiritual issues. I wanted my faith to be honored in removing mountains of material difficulty, which consumed my time and energies. My reaction was pathetic. I was disgusted. I wanted a calm state of mind, and sure….I wanted spiritual growth and so on, but what about my bills? Where were the promises that could be relied upon for perfect health and trauma free finances?
Finally, it dawned upon me that the Bible is not a book to be used as a contract with provisions for trauma free living. Life will have its vicissitudes whether I like it or not, and the issue is really my reactions to them. Jesus had said the following:
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33
I resembled a prisoner who feared freedom. I was being called upon to abandon easily 50% of my thinking patterns and conversations. Eventually I realized that instead of concerning myself with removing mountains of material difficulty, I should rather concern myself with being in the right frame of mind as I methodically chiseled away at the mountains. Why had I wanted wealth and perfect health? Was it not because I imagined that they brought about a satisfied state of mind and a sense of well being? I learned that I could have a satisfied state of which was not related to either wealth or health.
No doubt we all believe that we will always have what we need, but unfortunately, we want many things, including financial security, which do not fall into the category of what is needful for our spiritual growth. I learned that my spiritual growth was the real issue at hand. I was to seek ‘the kingdom of God.’ A breakthrough occurred for me one day as I studied the words OF GOD. I was reading the Ferrar Fenton version of the Bible and read:
“The blessing of the Lord brings wealth and toil adds nothing to that “ Proverbs 10:22
I noticed that it was a particular blessing, and not ‘blessings’ the plural. What was that blessing? Then I saw it. It was OF THE LORD. That was and is the blessing. When one accepts one’s sonship, then one realizes that the kingdom OF GOD is the kingdom of those who have been son-shipped and have accepted God as their Father. As I began to walk with this relationship as my primary focus, the balance of my life fell into place. With God as my Father, I surely didn’t need a contract with my heavenly parent any more than I had needed one with my Mother.
I had no contract with my mother, and yet her providing for me in my youth would have been in complete compliance with even the strictest provisions imaginable. Never did I miss a meal. I always had proper clothing, and my education was afforded me. I was loved and from that love came an unending desire on her part to contribute to my well being. Surely our Father loves us no less than our Mothers and earthly Fathers. Jesus taught that. Indeed, all that they knew of love they learned from Him. So….I say goodbye to contracts, written promises, and such things. I shall be happy because I am loved by my Father in heaven. My faith will not be based upon “it is written”, but rather upon His love which I have experientially tasted and enjoyed thus far.