Phil Cox

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Taken for Granted

3rd October 2008

Most of us have used this expression at some time. We say that we think our husband or wife or employer “takes us for granted”. When we say that, I think we mean that we resent, or feel hurt by, the impression they give that we’re of no value to them.

We have an idea that the other person (husband, wife, boss, friend, church leader, whatever) should work to retain our loyalty. We feel abused when the other person seems not to try to please us. And that is quite understandable. We feel like they don’t value us.

But “valueless” and “taken for granted” really mean different things. For example, if someone gave you a new car, it would be something that had been “granted” to you, and so something that you could legitimately “take for granted”. But it would be far from valueless.

And (I hope) when we get married, we give (grant) ourselves to our life partner. So I have been “granted” to my wife; I made a present of myself to her when I made my wedding vow. But I do feel “taken for granted” sometimes, and I’m sure she does too. Neither of us is perfect, and so neither of us treats the other exactly as we should.

Whatever has been given to a person becomes their property. If someone gives you that new car, then the car is yours. And if I give myself to my wife, than I am hers. It’s nice when she shows appreciation. But I am “granted” to her, whether she shows me appreciation and care or not.

It hurts when we feel undervalued. But if we’re granted, then we’re granted. And to resent being “taken for granted” is rather strange. But to be sad that the other person doesn’t seem to value us or want to please us is absolutely normal.

We can take Jesus Christ for granted, because He has been granted to us.

John 3v16
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

God has given Jesus for us. But He is undervalued by us all. Even those who profess to believe in Him and to follow Him fail to give Him the respect, honour, love and devotion that He deserves.

He has given Himself to us, and we should give ourselves to Him.

Romans 12v1
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God…

If the Son of God will sacrifice himself for us, should we not sacrifice ourselves for Him?

In the usual use of the phrase, we should not take Jesus for granted. But we should give thanks to God every day for the fact that He has been granted to us.