I deserve better than this. I’m a good person; I deserve to be treated well. I deserve nice things, a big house, a new car, a handsome husband, well-behaved kids, a high-paying job, beautiful furniture, the latest fashion trends, the hottest new shoes.
Sound familiar? Everyone knows at least one person who has professed entitlement at some point, or perhaps we know we have said these things ourselves. The common belief today is that living a “good” life–giving to charities, volunteering at a homeless shelter, going to church, listening to clean music, recycling, “going green”, etc–should bring you good things. It is believed that these positive actions are grounds for deserving the best of everything. And when the best of everything doesn’t happen, people get upset… very upset. “But I deserve this promotion. I stayed late. I helped other people finish their work on time. I always submitted my tasks in a timely manner. I maintain a clean office. I give to the office charity. I buy gifts for expectant moms and attend every office party. I deserve more than what I have. I deservethebest of everything because of all the wonderful things I do.”
What have you really done, though? Have you ever told a little white lie because you thought it wouldn’t hurt anybody? Have you ever thought of your co-worker or neighbor or friend of a friend in any way other than as a sister/brother? Have you ever gotten too much change and decided to keep it? Have you ever illegally downloaded a copyright-protected movie or piece of digital art? Have you ever not loved your wife as you love your own self, as Christ loves the church, enough to die for her? Have you ever disrespected your husband, complained about him to your friends, emotionally beaten him down, manipulated him to give you what you want? Have you ever let something else take the place of God in your life, created an idol out of food, sex, work, children, money?
The fact is that everyone sins, everyonefalls short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). You actually deserve to go to hell. I know I do. I know that it doesn’t matter how many “good” things I do because Iwill always sin, for the rest of my life. And even if I could stop sinning, I’m sure I’d be proud of that and would be back at square one.
That is a difficult burden to face and accept. It’s hard to shirk the “I’ve done well, so I deserve good” mentality because it is drilled into our heads from birth. But you don’t deserve good things. You deserve hell.
That is a dark message–but there is a glorious, wonderful light! God is just… but He is also merciful. He sent His Son to die on the cross, to pay the debt of all in one act, so that we may be saved from what we deserve. God is GOOD! He looked upon us all with mercy, His creation a hopeless mess when left to themselves, and He did what few, if any, earthly fathers would be capable of doing–He sent His Son to die, He gave up One for the rest.
Next time you start thinking “But I deserve better”… think twice. Do you really want what you deserve? Or would you rather be saved by the grace and mercy of God? This is the God who created you, loves you. He knows exactly what you deserve, better than even you do… and He loves you enough to offer salvation from what you truly deserve.