I Don’t Deserve This

I don’t deserve this.

At one time or another, we’ve all felt the impact of this statement. Perhaps someone was unkind to us. Maybe we were passed over for something that we were sure was ours. Or, maybe we suffered through an unfair illness or loss of a loved one. If nothing else, we’ve probably all muttered it throughout the craziness of 2020.

I don’t know about you, but I tend to be very concerned with what’s fair when it has to do with my own life.

I started thinking this week of all the times I’ve said this phrase. Moments of pain, disappointment, and injustice came flooding to my memory as I recalled the difficult circumstances that left those words resounding in my mind. But as I focused on all the moments that weren’t fair, God gently began to change my perspective.

He reminded me of past moments where I wasn’t as Christ-like in my interactions with others as I should have been. He brought me back to days when I blatantly ignored His authority in my life. He showed me times where I was imperfect (as you can imagine, there were a lot).
With each memory, I was reminded of the reality of my own sin. And with each memory, I was also reminded that I was given what I didn’t deserve… grace.

Despite my own shortcomings, unfair treatment of others, bad attitudes, and broken living, God showed me grace instead of punishment.

Romans 3:23-25a says, “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin.”

This verse is clear: we’ve all messed up. And what we ultimately deserve is punishment. But because God deeply loves us, He extends grace to us instead. Not only that, but Jesus willfully takes on our punishment so we can have forgiveness, freedom, and rightness with God. It’s pretty shocking when you think about it. The truth is, we all face moments that are unfair. But I wonder how each of our lives would change if we focused less on where we’ve been wronged, and more on where we’ve been wrong. Then, when we find ourselves enjoying God’s grace, we can simply say: I don’t deserve this.

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