Our culture is riddled with a poisonous spirit of entitlement. We always think we deserve more. We’re disappointed with our family, neighbors, church, the waitress, the sales clerk, and the department of motor vehicles. Ultimately we’re disappointed with God. He hasn’t given us everything we want.
What madness! If only we could see our situation clearly--even for a moment. We deserved expulsion; He gives us a diploma. We deserved the electric chair; He gives us a parade. Anything less than overwhelming gratitude should be unthinkable. He owes us nothing. We owe Him everything. When you realize you deserve nothing better than hell, it puts a “bad day” in perspective, doesn’t it?
Christians in Sudan--who’ve suffered unspeakably for their faith--are deeply grateful for God’s daily blessings. But us? We whine and pout.
Thankfulness should draw a clear line between us and a Christless world. If the same spirit of entitlement and ingratitude that characterizes our culture characterizes us, what do we have to offer?
If I grasp that I deserve hell, I’ll be filled with gratitude not only for God’s huge blessings--including my redemption and home in heaven--but also for His smaller blessings: sun, rain, a beating heart, eyes that see, legs that walk, a mind that thinks....And because Christ allowed Himself to be crushed under the weight of my sin, I’ll enjoy forever a clear mind and perfect body....Never believe anything about yourself or God that makes His grace to you seem anything less than astonishing. Because that’s exactly what it is.
Randy Alcorn, “The Grace and Truth Paradox,” Multnomah Publishers 2003, pp. 33-35