Thursday, 24 July 2014

Deserving

Just a quick thought tonight. You often hear, or read on social media, phrases like, "Such a hard day, think I deserve this glass of wine" or "Kicked butt in the gym tonight, definitely deserve this MaccyD's!" or maybe "I've been such a good girl all this year, hope Santa brings me the presents I deserve". It struck me earlier, do we really mean or realise what we're saying? Don't get me wrong, I enjoy lovely food and drink and presents, but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have to look very far to find someone who'd worked just as hard, yet was struggling to cover even the essentials, let alone any added extras. And what exactly am I claiming to have done to deserve such a treat? The Bible says that even our good deeds, or righteous acts, are like 'filthy rags' (Isaiah 64:6), tainted by motives and weakness, and though I don't like to admit it, it's true that even at it's best, my heart struggles to align itself with God's perfect love.

Ooh what a cheery post?! Well, actually, yes. If I don't deserve good things, that must mean that any good thing I have is a gift - no terms and conditions because I could never meet them. They are a gift from a loving and gracious Father. God, who is altogether holy and worthy of my devotion, is not stacking up my sins or noting down all the times I'm not devoted (which would be in the high 90%s for sure), but rather is putting his effort into making himself known and making a way for me to know him. To the extent that he even set aside all the glory he deserved and lived a life of poverty until he suffered the most total and heartbreaking separation that has ever been, when Jesus died on the cross and cried "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:36/Mark 15:34).

So I'm going to try and make a change, when I experience those 'treat' moments, or I'm enjoying something lovely, I'll be saying "Such a hard day, but I don't deserve this." I thank God for being so generous, and hopefully his kindness will be my motivation to reflect his love better.

*Disclaimer, there are some pretty big questions around the issue of possessions and their uneven distribution. I don't have the space or the ability to discuss that fully here. I do, however, trust that even in our broken world, God's grace is not-discriminative and the inequality should be my motivation to take responsibility for sharing the gifts I've been given, not motivation to blame God, who is universally generous and loving.

You don't. It's a gift.

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