The idea that choosing God costs nothing reduces God to nothing

Some people argue, “God is so great and so accommodating that he will love us, no matter what we do.”

Yes, the point of contention is not God’s love for us, but our love for him. Whatever we do, God loves us. However, we express our love for him, not by staying how we are, but by becoming better than what we are for his pleasure, just as, say, children express their love for their parents by improving, not stagnating or regressing, in their studies.

Even in this world, people express their love for their beloved by molding their choices according to their beloved’s likes and dislikes. Those who imagine that loving their beloved won’t cost anything reduce their beloved to an insentient nonentity, to nothing.

Does choosing God cost money? Not exactly.

Though giving monetary donation is an integral part of devotional worship, we can’t buy God’s mercy with money. What God wants is not money, but what money represents, our heart, for money frequently occupies a central position in our heart. Pertinently, the Bhagavad-gita (09.26) indicates that God will accept even simple things such as a fruit, flower, leaf or water when they are offered with devotion. This Gita verse underscores that choosing God costs what is at the core of our very being – our heart.

We express our love for God by offering him the wholesome things that are dear to us and by sacrificing for him the unwholesome things that we are attached to. The resulting intense contact with the all-pure Supreme purifies us, thereby driving out our lower tendencies and drawing out our higher tendencies.

Molding our life according to God’s likes and dislikes of manifest through scriptural prescriptions and proscriptions thus helps us become better beings and to move closer to him.

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