There are few words in the English language that stop me cold. Hearing the Lord’s name used in vain still does it. But about the only other word that has same effect is the word “deserve.” Every time I hear it, whether on t.v. or from a close personal friend, it makes me want to explode.
“Deserve” means “to be worthy of”. Need I go on?
What am I worthy of without Jesus? I mean really.
He gives me every breath I breathe. He gives me every heartbeat, every bite of food I eat, every sight I see…it all comes from Him. Every ounce of love I feel comes from someone He put (and kept) in my life. He owes me nothing. It’s all grace…undeserved blessing.
“Deserve” and “Grace” are children of comparison and contrast. We feel like we deserve something because we compare what we did with the consequence that ensues. “He deserved that heart attack. He didn’t exercise and looked like the Michelin man.” “He deserved that promotion….he had worked his butt off.” In our performance-based acceptance, risk-reward, pay-for-play, we deduce everything to an equation….a ying for a yang, an “I do, thus I deserve.” Or worse, we feel entitled. “I deserve, because I am…”
But turn it around.
Ask “What I have I done to deserve God’s love?” “What value could I ever add to God so that I would “deserve” something back from him?” Ridiculous.
When I stop and reflect on the enormity, pervasiveness, sweetness and constancy of God’s love and presence in my life, I can’t let the word “deserve” come off my tongue without feeling a blush of embarrassment and dishonesty.
When a soldier surrenders on the battlefield, he holds up the white flag. He hopes for grace….there are international laws and conventions that say he’ll get it. But from his perspective, he is not worthy of anything. He has nothing to trade. He gave up. He’s at the mercy of his captors. His hope is not in what he deserves. His hope is in grace.
So be thoughtful before you banter around “I deserve” this and that. Remember that what you deserve is your God-less, unforgiven self and eternal life separated from God.
What God’s grace has given you is peace, love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.
And eternal life with Him and all those who love Him.
but greatly appreciated.
Question: Do you feel like you are deserving? Of what?