Tuesday, June 6, 2017

No Entitlements

I remember a difficult time at what I had come to believe was a difficult church.  Somewhere I started hearing myself saying, "Lord, I don't deserve this.  I deserve better."  Maybe the thought just sprang from some dark place in my heart, or maybe I was listening to the same whisperer who whispered in Jesus' ear during that wilderness moment at the beginning of His ministry.  What I do know is that I allowed myself the luxury of wallowing around in my self-imposed misery until I heard another Whisperer saying, "You don't deserve any church, not even the smallest one do you deserve."
Like Job I found myself put in my place by the Almighty.  Another underlining in John Ortberg's book, "Soul Keeping," reads, "The default mode of the sinful human race is entitlement, the belief that this gift or that experience that God placed in my path is rightfully mine.  I am owed."   Most of us have had those moments when we felt that we were getting a raw deal from God.  It seemed to us that we had paid our dues, prayed our prayers, gave our gifts, and done it for a long time.  We tell ourselves it should count for something. 

It is easy to come to the place of feeling that we are entitled to better when the self within us is thought to be the center of the universe.  All the good stuff like grace and forgiveness and love comes to us as gifts from God.  And the fact that He would entrust to the likes of you and me any of His Kingdom work on this earth is truly amazing.  We are owed nothing by God, but given every good gift.  Thank God our pity parties have an ending point and we come to realize that God really is gracious and good.

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