I had a recruiter, corporate headhunter type, contact me and asked about career plans, etc. He wanted to set up an informal meeting. He was making things sound good so I figured why not and met with him. Well, as he talked more, things sounded too good and sometimes, when things seem too good, then maybe they aren’t so great after all. Then, after a while, he started pushing me to sign a contract, an open contract to an extent, saying that if I would agree to give at least 3 months time to one of the companies he represented (but did not specify which company, basically a contract between he and I) he could give me a nice cash bonus. He stated he had gone ahead and prepared a check because he was certain that after I heard what a good deal it was, that I’d be thrilled to have the chance. The contract was to work somewhere for the 3 months, living expenses covered, with good salary during the time. EXCEPT, no dollar amount for the pay, expenses, travel, etc. Hmmmm, I started wondering about that part, I asked about that and his response was since it would be a general contract now just sort of a show of good faith on my part, and since we weren’t sure which company I would be working during that time he couldn’t put specifics and he assured me I could trust him. Red lights started flashing, I was hearing gongs and other alarms going off. He wanted me to obligate to a certain thing, but he would not? Hmmmm, yeah, he was giving me a nice chunk of cash, a gift of sorts, but in return I gave an obligation, signed a contract, that he had flexibility with and I did not????? I started hearing more alarms. When I hesitated, his attitude changed. I had not yet said anymore about the concerns I was having, but I think he could tell from my body language. He changed tactics and then started trying harder to get me to accept the up front bonus he was offering, saying it would be so I had the option of covering and he had someone that he could count on in the future, but still, would not give me a time period for when he expected me to honor my obligation. I voiced my concerns that yes, I was getting a bonus, a gift, up front but I was concerned that the obligation it entailed and the vagueness of what he would tell me on compensation for when I honored the contract left me feeling less than comfortable with the situation. He got a little more aggressive with his “sales tactics” trying to get me to agree and take the bonus. I am just going to give this to you, you can choose the dates, just has to be within 3 years and I could choose which company, which location, and if pay was not sufficient with one place, I could go with another. Still, all vague, an open contract that took a lot of my liberties away in this, because what he said, and what was in the contract were not identical. I told him I did not think it was a great idea for me to do so at the time but thanked him and offered to pay for the coffee myself. Oh, boy did he get hostile. Started asking why I was being so difficult and why I made him waste his time if I wasn’t going to sign, why was I being so dumb as to refuse a gift that had minimal obligation associated with it. All those things told me he was not really looking out for my interests, only his own.
After that encounter, I thought about times where I had accepted a 2 night stay at some resort, just had to listen to a presentation on the timeshares they had available and how the salesman there acted similarly. Trying to guilt me into buying a timeshare because I was being wrong to accept the gift, the resort stay, and not buy a timeshare. I mentioned that it did say no obligation to buy, but he then said, well, maybe it says not, but if you were going to be fair to us you would. Hmmm, sounds familiar. A free gift, no obligation, but well, according to him it was an implied obligation.
These things made me think about how sometimes Christians encounter things like that, a free gift, that really isn’t free and ends up having a high cost. I mean spiritually, not monetarily. We accept something, that seems too good to pass up. A great opportunity for a trip, a dream job, or any other type of gift that is of some value, but then we find it costs us our relationship with Christ. I think I will see what the Bible has to say about such things.
And thou shalt take no gift: for the gift blindeth the wise, and perverteth the words of the righteous.
For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. Mark 13:22
Thou shalt not wrest judgment; thou shalt not respect persons, neither take a gift: for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous. Deuteronomy 16:19
Surely oppression maketh a wise man mad; and a gift destroyeth the heart. Ecclesiastes 7:7
But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Acts 8:20
Many will intreat the favour of the prince: and every man is a friend to him that giveth gifts. Proverbs 19:6
There are so many other verses that talk about the dangers of receiving gifts. Guess my dad was right when he said if something seems too good to be true, then it probably isn’t true.
There is one free gift that is FREE, and oh so rewarding, the gift of eternal life through our Christ Jesus.
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23
Yeah, I think that’s the gift for me. Oh, and in case anyone was wondering, I passed on the bonus and the contract. Too much obligation, to little say in the long wrong as what is written is what can be enforced.
Lord, I pray you help me see clearly when there are gifts that are too costly, gifts that take from me in the long run and do not reward me. Help me to continue to strive for the gift of eternal life You gave me. Help me continue to work to improve my walk with Jesus. I pray You work in the hearts and minds of loved ones to see and understand Your truth, the value of Your gift and that they avoid other gifts of no spiritual value that may have spiritual cost. I ask You draw them all, draw us all closer to Christ. Help us serve You and Your way and plan in your lives.
Thanks for bearing with me. I know sometimes I ramble, but, I do eventually get where I am going.