Do you ever feel like you deserve something? Maybe because you've been working hard, or reached a goal, or whatever? A bubble bath, a special trip to Chipotle, that outfit at Target-- you know what I'm talking about. I feel that way, sometimes. After a week of eating well, I deserve a donut, right? And after paying off a credit card, I deserve a special purchase, right? (Just kidding, Mom-- I wouldn't do that!) This kind of mentality that I get myself into (partially with myself to blame, partially the media, and partially society), I've developed a sort of entitled attitude that I don't even consciously know exists, most of the time.
As a teacher, it's pretty evident that much of our youth are growing up with an entitled attitude. I never realized that as a part of this society, it's one of my downfalls, too. How did I realize this? Through a series of disappointments. Why was I disappointed? Because I felt like I deserved those things, so when I didn't get them, I was disappointed.
First, my parents (who were thinking about investing in a home here in Florida for Mike and me to rent from them) put an offer in on a great house. We didn't get it. Then, they put in an offer on an even better house, and we had a good chance of getting it. Then the owners backed out and decided to give it to charity. Um, okay then. I was disappointed. If we had gotten this house, we could save an extra $200/month and get rid of our debt faster, thus allowing us to try to have a family sooner. Without this house, we stay in an apartment that has ridiculous neighbors and water bills, throw our money away monthly, and trudge along in our debt payment plan for another year, with no hope of changing our housing situation or family situation. In short, we're stuck.
But still- why was I disappointed? I have a wonderful husband that I had prayed so long for. We both have multiple jobs that allow us to live a comfortable life. We've been able to travel. We have a great church family and ministries we're involved in. So what's the problem, even if things aren't happening on my timetable?
The problem is, somewhere along the way I began to believe that I deserved to have a house, nice decorations, a yard, children, and a cushioned bank account. I don't deserve that, though. God often blesses people with those things, but I don't deserve them.
What I actually deserve is an eternity of separation from God in hell. Nothing less. By God's grace, he saved me from that through faith in Christ's sacrifice for my sin. That is enough. That is more than enough. Anything else is icing on the cake. Shelter of any kind? Icing. Food? That's chocolate icing. Clothes? Cream cheese icing. No matter what the world tells me, I do not deserve those "extra" things. If God blesses me with them, I can fully enjoy them... but I shouldn't expect them. Not, of course, because God isn't good, but because he knows so much more than I do. So on any given day, in any circumstance, I am always doing better than I deserve. And I really, really am trying to remember that.