Right now, we tend to banter around the idea of ‘deserving it’. Something good happens in your life and all your friends pat you on the back and say, “You deserve it”. A dream comes true, a magical vacation is taken, a promotion, a gift, or just me-time happens and we deserve it. Yes, we all have to take time to semi-re-center ourselves. Sometimes we give and give and give and give until our bodies just shut down. It helps if you can see the signs of that happening and take a few hours or even a day to regroup so that you can go back to serving others. But, do you deserve it? Have you really gone above and beyond what everyone else is doing in such a way as to deserve it? Are you truly and purely worthy of being spoiled, by yourself or by others?
Have you ever stopped to wonder about that?
Have you ever stopped to notice the selfish and sometimes stupid things we do because ‘we deserve it’?
What about the other side of the coin? We never think about the fact that if you have earned this reward, this promotion, this dream come true, or this me-time, then you can un-earn it. If you deserve it now, you could not deserve it tomorrow. You can deserve that new handbag today…don’t ask me how that works, you deserve a handbag? …and then not deserve it tomorrow.
We are so quick to pat ourselves on the back for all our hard work, but we don’t ever talk being lazy and deserving poverty. We don’t talk about deserving health issue because we refuse to say no to upsizing our drinks and taking a walk. We don’t talk about deserving problems in schools because we refuse to teach our children self-control. We don’t like deserving negative things. We’re super happy and agreeable with deserving days off, expensive treats, massages, and diet-cheat days, but we’re not happy with deserving the consequences of our sins.
See, only one human being has ever lived perfectly enough to be worthy, to deserve, anything nice. Only one person live the life that earned him…well, life. And he chose to take on death for us…the unworthy. Because, honestly, I’m not worthy and don’t deserve to see my dream of being a homemaker come true. I don’t deserve to have my health in an upswing. I don’t deserve to have a husband who is loving and kind. I don’t deserve to live in the 21st century where I can sit on my back porch on a not so hot summer day and write this article. I don’t deserve the grass, trees, and plants that surround me. These are all of grace. My whole life is grace upon grace upon grace.
Do you want to get rid of entitlement? Teach children thankfulness. Teach them that it is a mercy, a grace, a debt that can’t be paid to be born in the USA. Teach your children, and develop in yourself a heart of thankfulness. Take a moment to be thankful for what you do have and stop worrying about what you don’t. Take a moment to consider your own sinfulness. Think about how selfish you are, and then be thankful for the grace that has been shown to you. Instead of thinking of all the good things you think you’ve earned, think about all the judgement that should rightly sit on your shoulders. Tremble at the thought that if you did truly earn some blessing, then you can just as quickly un-earn it.
We need to get our heads out of the entitlement game, out of the self-deserving game, and start thinking about grace and thankfulness. Next time you buy a new shirt, game, book, bag or whatever it is, don’t think to yourself that you’ve earned this and this is why you should get it. Think to yourself that you haven’t earned it. It’s a gift. A gift to someone who doesn’t deserve a thing.
And remember, the only one, Jesus Christ, who did deserve and was worthy of every beautiful thing in this world, gave it all up. He set his ‘worthiness’ on the altar of sacrifice for us, his saints. He set aside everything that was his right, that he did deserve, that he had earned, that was his privilege, to take on everything that wasn’t. He took on all the rights of death and punishment, the only things we had earned, that are our true rights. He took what we earned so that we wouldn’t have to pay that cost. That’s like the sweetest person you know dying, willingly, for a serial killer. Think about it. Christ didn’t deserve his death, we did. But what we didn’t deserve, what was given to us by grace, we can’t lose. I didn’t deserve my salvation, I don’t deserve my salvation, and thus I can’t lose it. I can’t un-deserve it because it’s not about me. It’s about Christ. He earned it. He is worthy. He is perfect. He will keep my salvation for me.
As our world spirals down into more idiocy and self-harming philosophies that make no sense, believers will stand out and more and more. We won’t take a moment because we’ve earned some me-time. We’ll take a moment because Christ has generously given us a chance to do it. We will do it with thanksgiving, and not a hording of our time against those always clamoring for us. We will understand the benefits and the proper placing of down time, entertainment, recreation, so that it doesn’t take over our lives, and we will be thankful for the many generous gifts of God. Instead of demanding, we will be humbled that he is so kind. Instead of tight-fistedly holding onto every drop of this life, we will be glad for the gifts as they come and go.
Stop talking about deserving any blessing, be it spiritual or temporal. If you believe and trust in the Word of God, you will understand that you deserve nothing good, you have earned nothing good, and so you will come at life with a heart of thankfulness, for it is all of grace. This will set you apart from the world. This will make you different. Be ordinary. Understand you don’t deserve any blessing in this life, or the life to come. It’s all of grace.