In my Sunday school room, I keep a plastic storage container filled with little candy bars as an incentive/reward. When my boys read their Bibles for the week, they get to choose a candy bar. Some weeks, they get them anyway. Visitors get double. The younger kids, ones not in my class, know about the candy, and I often see them sneaking out of my room, grinning.
However, that also means I occasionally run out. My boys have come to expect those candy bars, and make no mistake, I hear about it when I fail to meet their expectations. What’s more, I hear it from the little kids when the box is empty.
There are no rules or laws about Sunday school teachers and treats (that I know of). I am not required to provide candy bars. I do it because I want to encourage my guys. I love my boys, and I want them to learn and grow, and this was just one little way to connect with them. They get accustomed to that, though, and a sense of entitlement develops.
Here’s the thing- those candy bars are grace.
Think with me for just a moment. God is not required to pour out His grace, yet He does. His grace even touches those outside His kingdom. See the parallel?
Just like my boys, I get used to the provisions of God’s grace. Often I begin to believe I am entitled to it. Many times, I grumble about how God chooses to administer His grace, whether it is poured out when I think it should be, and whether or not I am getting what I “deserve”.
But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Ephesians 4:7
Grace is a gift. It’s always a blessed gift. Chocolate candy bars don’t even come close.