On giving and receiving

Miroslav Volf contends that we are incapable of giving anything that obliges God to reciprocate. For what do we have that we did not receive? Obligation? God’s or ours? Here’s a thought from Volf: ‘But rather than receiving something God needs but doesn’t have, what God receives is delight – the lover’s delight at the sight of the beloved whose very existence is that lover’s gift. What God also receives is pain – the lover’s pain when love has been betrayed.’ The point is that we are incapable of offering God a gift in such a way that will move him to be other than he is already… totally towards us in grace.

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