"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Thursday, November 12, 2009

What do you think you deserve?

"Experiencing the loss of loved ones and all normal conveniences and even basic necessities has a way of heightening one's appreciation for God's most mundane mercies. It all has to do with our starting place. What do you think you deserve? If you deserve to be six feet under with your soul writhing in hell, then you're bound to have an elevated motivation to be thankful for any mercy at all. Even a few drops of water on the tip of the rich man's tongue, as in Jesus' Luke 16 story, could elicit thanks, if you felt what you really deserve."

~ Jim Elliff in article "But I Don't Feel Thankful"

I have more I want to add about this post, but for now I think I'll leave it for you to ponder. What do you think you deserve?

According to your spiritual beliefs, how you've lived and think: do you deserve God's best, hell or somewhere in the middle? Why do you think you deserve what you say you do? If God came to you and said, "I am a just God. I am fair and want to give you what you deserve," how would you answer?

Bonus material: Here is one belief of how The Fall affected humanity according to the Bible.


Wafa said...

away from all religious sayings or beliefs cuz i am not religious at all, you can call me spiritually,i think i deserve the best because i am a good woman and try to do good all the way.

Sarah said...

"If you deserve to be six feet under with your soul writhing in hell, then you're bound to have an elevated motivation to be thankful for any mercy at all."

This is interesting, and makes me wonder why it is that I (and many other Christians) never really felt all that grateful. Or at least, we still had the ability to want more, and even to feel somewhat neglected by God at times. Is it that we didn't really believe this deep down? I don't know.

In terms of what I deserve, I don't know either. There are certain earth-bound things I feel I deserve... like respect, dignity, fair pay for the work I do, etc. In terms of spiritual, I suppose I deserve to be punished fairly for the wrong I've done and rewarded fairly for the good I've done. I don't have much sense of what that means at the moment.

What do you think?

Amber said...

hhmmmm....if we're being honest, I deserve hell. I mean, really. I've done...I've done some *bad* things in my life. So, I certainly hope God doesn't give me what I *deserve*.

That being said, I trust in God's mercy to give me what He wants for me, which is Heaven. I know what I've done is wrong, I've turned from it (spit in the devils eye lately?), and am determined to live my life in God's grace. With much, much help. :)

Achelois said...

I once spoke aloud to God on my blog and begged Him not to stop loving me. A man commented saying I was arrogant to think God loves me.

Why should I think otherwise when He has been so generous and kind? I think I was being grateful - telling God I acknowledge that He has been so generous.

I think I'm generous and I'm kind. Even if I am ever harsh with someone I repent almost immediately. I repent a lot. Now I have sinned, I would say. But I never committed grave sins. I never harmed anyone intentionally or hurt anyone for my own pleasure or gain. So I'd want God to be fair and remember that when He is judging me :)

In short, I think I deserve punishment for my wrongs but I seek forgiveness very earnestly because I don't know best. And I think I deserve reward for the good that I have done.

Niki said...

Wow. I can't believe someone would call you arrogant for believing that God loves you. It's in the Bible. God is love and He loves everyone. Regardless of who they are or what they've done. And He will forgive anyone who sincerely repents.

Susanne said...

You all have left some great comments. I sincerely appreciate what you've shared!

MuSe, I'm always glad to read what you have to say. I look forward to learning more about you as I read your blog from now on. :)

Laila, I think it's because we don't grasp the enormity of what we truly deserve. We think we are good enough that we surely don't deserve that awful punishment. Honestly, I think Satan wants us to feel that way. As long as you feel you can save yourself by your good deeds...why be grateful for what God has provided for us? After all we earned it. It's no gift from Him. Gifts aren't earned.

Amber, and here I thought you were so holy in one of my previous posts!! Why did you ruin the image that I had of you? ;)

Achelois, I wish I repented more. Honestly I have been thinking of repentance more lately. Weird that your comment mentioned that...hmmm.

I agree with Niki though. It's not arrogant to think that God loves you. I just remembered many many months ago when I was learning about Islam from my dear Muslim friend, Samer. I remember asking him if God loves me, a non-Muslim. He said, "I don't know." Actually he believed from his growing-up years that God only loves Muslims, but since he found me sweet and loving, he didn't want to hurt my feelings by telling me God didn't love me. :)

Niki, thanks for chiming in.

I will have a follow-up to this post soon. Or at least that's the plan. I guess I should say Insh'Allah (Lord willing.) :) I'll tell y'all what I think I deserve in case you are interested.

Achelois said...

Nocturnal Queen, that is actually a very Muslim thing to believe and say. God is seen as both merciful and extremely strict in Islam. There is a lot of emphasis on repentance and asking for forgiveness in Islam, which is a good reminder I would say.

In pre-Islamic Arabia the gods and goddesses were seen as always angry and vengeful so this small shift to a merciful yet angry God was also a huge achievement for Arabian theology.

Our local pastor explained once that the concept of an always loving God is based on NT and in OT God is seen to get upset very quickly as well.

I guess the Quran has picked up on the OT based role of God and therefore one has to ask for forgiveness constantly in Islam because you never know what my irk Him.

Suroor said...

Susanne, Inshallah ;)