I Deserve It

I Deserve It

I hear these words a lot…in my head. Sometimes I hear it from others, but mostly me.

Sitting in church the other morning, I was graciously reminded that I don’t. I don’t deserve it. Not really.

I think I do sometimes. I think I deserve a comfortable home, a new pair of shoes, something to eat, better service – things that I take for granted every day and think I deserve. I even get frustrated when some of those things don’t happen or don’t happen like I think they should.

Truth be told, I really don’t deserve any of it.

Who am I, really? I am a lowly human being who sins on a regular basis – like over and over and over again, doing the same thing. There’s nothing in that to warrant special attention, acclaim, praise, “success,” or even my own way. I don’t rate anything at the end of the day.

What I really deserve is far worse. You may know the verse: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23). Those “sins,” those times I mess up every single day have one reward and it’s not a good one. What I really rate is death, eternal separation from a God who loves me.

I deserve it.

But thankfully, God doesn’t give me what I deserve.

You can see the second part of the verse. Instead of what I deserve, He gives me the gift of eternal life and He gives me so much more. Truly, He gives me not just life to come, but life today. John 10:10 says, The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

Life. Abundant, eternal life.

This reminder brings me to a place of humility and gratefulness. Humility and gratefulness lead me to a life of wholehearted obedience. It’s a natural response to such grace.

To love God is my first response and the second response is to love others.

People who are in the same place I am. Stuck in a cycle of sin with the “reward” being one none of us ever want to encounter. The people around me, nice and not-so-nice, struggle with fear, inadequacy, heartbreak, and failure just like I do and some of them have never met Jesus.

This reminder of who I am and what God has done for me spurs me on to love others as well. Realizing we are all in this together, knowing the grace that has been poured out to me, my response should be one of love and grace poured out.

Yet here I sit on any given day frustrated, even angry, because things don’t happen as I think they should. I tell my kids all the time that the world doesn’t revolve around them. Sometimes I should take my own advice.

This is a constant struggle and I am sure it is human nature, but I will continue to pray that I will remember what I really deserve – not to live as a victim, live in depression, or become a doormat, but to receive and extend grace and love by being obedient to the One who loves me.

I don’t get what I deserve. Thank goodness.

Do you ever get in a mode where you feel like you deserve something? How do you keep a mindset of humility and gratefulness?

The Sin of “Not Enough.”

The Sin of “Not Enough.”

Tuesday morning. It wasn’t my best morning, mainly because Monday had not been one of my best days.

I had finished the day replaying its moments in my mind and was not impressed. I had not chosen well. Throughout the day, I had missed moments with my kids because I was distracted by other things. Accomplishing some things, it ended up being more of a day of chasing my tail, doing little unimportant things instead of the big things.

I had lost my focus on Him and had become focused on stuff. As I finished the day, I was tired. But more than that, I was weary.

I slept, thankful that when I woke up I could start over.

Then, there was Tuesday morning. Instead of starting my day optimistically, I had a nice replay in my brain of Monday. Not pretty.

Where did I end up in about two seconds flat?

not enough

I ended up wallowing. That’s right, wallowing in the sin of “not enough.” I remembered the day before and started feeling like I am not enough for my kids, not enough for my husband, not enough for my friends, not enough for the other things I was for sure God had called me to do. I was simply not enough.

You may be expecting me to tell you how I was encouraged by a friend or comforted by the Holy Spirit during my quiet time. Not quite.

As I wallowed, reality was a compassionate God who said, “That’s right, Kori. You’re not enough. That’s the point.”

I had not necessarily chosen well the day before. There had been many other days that were the same way, and no doubt there would be many more. I struggle with balancing priorities, consistently choosing well, and managing my time. I also am challenged by my personal expectation of perfection in myself.

I am human. Paul knew this struggle well – having a heart’s desire to do well and still coming up short. We all struggle with this very thing.

For I do not understand what I am doing, because I do not practice what I want to do, but I do what I hate. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree with the law that it is good. 17 So now I am no longer the one doing it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For the desire to do what is good is with me, but there is no ability to do it. 19 For I do not do the good that I want to do, but I practice the evil that I do not want to do. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but it is the sin that lives in me. (Romans 7:15-20)

My God, in His grace and compassion, reminded me again that it is not about me at all. It’s about Him–forever. Paul got this part too.

Christ's power

But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

His grace is sufficient. His power is perfected in weakness. Thank goodness.

But He will forever be enough for all of it, enough for me. In the end, should I accomplish anything in life, it will simply be because of His grace and power in my life.

You know what’s crazy? This was all in a Tuesday morning. Don’t tell me it doesn’t happen to you.

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