A phrase I’ve grown weary of hearing over the years is, “you deserve it.” It permeates the advertising world as well as our everyday speech. We tell colleagues they deserve their recent promotion or our friends that they deserve some time away. Commercials try to convince us that we deserve a new car or the latest electronic gadgetry. As followers of Jesus, I hope you recognize that what we deserve is an eternity separated from our Creator. We deserve nothing in this life because we have all squandered what God has entrusted to us. To be frank, we deserve Hell. I think that’s why we spend so much time trying to be comfortable and secure. We know what we deserve and yet do everything in our power to keep from thinking about it.
A.W. Tozer once wrote, “…from the way we love, praise, and pamper ourselves it is plain enough that we do not consider ourselves worthy of damnation!” Perhaps that’s it. We’ve bought the lie Satan peddles that says we should get all we can in this life. People who focus only on their few years of physical living will find disappointment in the life to come. The only reason we are not destined for an eternity separated from God is because Jesus sacrificed Himself on our behalf. He didn’t deserve to die, and we don’t deserve to live.
If you want everything you deserve, please stop following Jesus. You’ll never find what you deserve in Him. What we all deserve is darkness, suffering, and death. Jesus is none of those things. He is the antithesis of them. He is light, comfort, and life. He is love in the purest sense of the word. If you want to taste the joy of Jesus, you have to give up seeking what you “deserve”. Instead, desire Christ and nothing else. If you live this way, I guarantee things will happen to you that will look unfair to the uninformed. Your friends will think you just never get what you deserve. The fact is the last thing you want is exactly what you deserve.
Why do we seek the comforts of this world anyway? In the end, for what will our status count? Justice is never guaranteed in this world, but persecution is (John 16:33). In the grand scheme of things, all that matters for any of us is what we do for Jesus. When it’s all said and done, will we be able to say that we loved and served Him well? Did we do that at any cost? Nothing else matters. We deserve nothing, yet by the grace of God, we get love, life, meaning, and purpose. Stop obsessing over what you think you deserve and focus instead on the gift you have been given. It’s more than anything you could ever achieve on your own. You don’t deserve it, but it is free for the taking.