“It’s the thought that counts” is a phrase that has always driven me nuts! I think it’s because it is always used in conjunction with a lousy gift. Think crocheted underwear – “Now Jimmy, you know your aunt Gracie spent a lot of time working on those, the least you could do is pretend you like them! You know ‘it’s the thought that counts.’” Then you throw them away, because really who wants to wear crocheted underwear!!! Lousy gift.
What if the phrase were used though in conjunction with an awesome gift…like a 3 horsepower cabinetry tablesaw from SawStop that magically doesn’t lop your hand off when you try shoving it through the blade at full speed. Awesome gift! “Now Jimmy, you know your aunt Gracie spent a lot of time saving up to get you that tablesaw, the least you could do is…be overwhelmed by the sacrificial love of an aunt who gave up so much that you could have something truly nice.” Yes, you’re right – that is the least that I could do.
One of my favorite passages in scripture is when King David is going to make an offering to God in atonement for numbering the fighting men of Israel. David is told by an angel to offer to the Lord a sacrifice on this guy’s threshing floor, who upon finding out why David wants it, offers it for free as well as the oxen and the wood. David’s response is core to his being a man after God’s own heart – he says, “I will not…sacrifice a burnt offering that costs me nothing.”
It’s got to cost me something to be meaningful.
What have you been offering God of late? Has it cost you anything? Has it been a sacrifice?
After all, it is the “thought that counts”.
What gift have you received that made you aware the giver really knew you and cared about you?