One of my all-time favorite movie is The Princess Bride. The character of Vizzini is short, bald, and thinks he knows everything. He responds to numerous unexpected events with his trademark, “Inconceivable!” At one point in the film, when things have once again not gone his way, Vizzini spits out a particularly incredulous, “Inconceivable!” His hired swordsman responds, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
Words are like that sometimes. Take the world of advertising, for instance. The definition of the word gift is “something voluntarily transferred by one person to another without compensation” (source). Yet, we almost never hear about a plain, simple gift. Advertisements are meant to encourage us to spend our money, so when it sounds too good, we’re always looking for a catch. Even though, by definition, gifts are not something we need to pay for, nearly every ad offers the redundant phrase “free gift,” as though there were some other sort of gift that required a fee.
Sometimes, I have similar issues when I read the Bible–it sounds too good, so I’m looking for the catch.
God’s power has given us everything we need to lead a godly life. All of that has come to us because we know the One who chose us. (II Peter 1:3a, NIrV)
There is a credit card commercial I’ve seen lately that has a celebrity spokesperson asking the viewer, “What does ‘everything’ mean to you?” He goes on to explain everything, as determined by the card he’s pitching, is not just in some cases, but means every place, every time, always, without limit, as it should be.
Why do I think God’s everything offers less than the bank? And if He really has already given me absolutely everything I need, why do I waste so much time worrying about what I don’t have?
You have promised again and again in Your Word that You will supply all my needs (Philippians 4:19), I lack nothing (Psalm 23:1), I only need to ask (Luke 11:10), I can do all things (Philippians 4:13), and You bless me wherever I go (Deuteronomy 28:6). Still, I keep looking for the fine print. It sounds too good to be true.
I have trouble believing You because I like to think You are like me. Help me to see how different You are. Help me to know that although I am limited, You are limitless; while I am poor, You are rich; where I am stingy, You are generous. And even when I’m focused on what I think I’m missing out on, thank You for graciously giving me everything I need.