Measuring Benefits

I was recently discussing with an electrician the evolving of the light bulb.  In the last ten years we have moved from the incandescent bulb to the compact florescent bulb to LED bulbs.  The newer bulbs are more expensive but they use only a percentage of the electricity of the older bulbs.  It was an investment to switch to the CFL bulbs.  They used about a third of the electricity of its predecessor.  Now the LED has emerged which uses about half the energy of its predecessor, the CFL.  These investments in newer technology promise lower electricity bills in the future.  They are much like investing in new insulation in an older home.  There is a cost up front but the return is unending as long as you live in the home.  But we cannot measure the savings because there are other variables such as how cold the winter is, where the thermometer is set, and the always changing price of fuel.

This is similar in other areas of life.  Driving defensively prevents accidents but we don’t know what type of accident or how severe the accident would have been.  We may not even realize that an accident was prevented.  Eating healthy is good but we can’t measure the cost of a disease we don’t get. 

So it is with our spiritual health.  Jesus said to seek first the kingdom of God and other good things will come our way (Matthew 6:33).  We cannot measure the value of these benefits when they are received nor can we if they never come our way. 

God challenged His people to give their tithes and offerings in the book of Malachi.  He said that we should test Him and see if He would not open the window of heaven and pour out blessings.  He also said he would rebuke the devourer.  It is possible to miss out on a great blessing and not know what we missed.  It is also possible for God to protect us from something that would have eaten us alive and not realize it.

We understand the principle of investing in energy saving light bulbs or in insulation and we accept the truth that we will never be able to measure the savings exactly.  We just know there will be a saving.  So, are we able to grasp the same principle concerning the priority we give to God in our lives?