It’s amazing how obvious and yet still effective marketing is. The one word that hits my ear like a sour note every time I hear it in a commercial is the word “deserve.” You deserve a new car. You deserve to be thin and sexy. You deserve to be happy. You deserve this gooey, fresh-from-the-oven chocolate chip cookie. You deserve it.
The question that’s never asked, by the advertiser or the consumer, is “why.” Why do i deserve it? What have I done to deserve it? Who says?
The more I read the Bible and study my faith, the more I realize that I don’t deserve anything. That’s not true–I deserve punishment, as a traitor to the King of the Universe. I certainly don’t deserve mercy, or love, or joy, or the pleasure of a warm bed or a cool drink or a gooey cookie. I deserve to suffer as a lawbreaker. But God extends common grace to all people, gives us these simple pleasures. The danger at that point is that we think these things are anything but gifts. But apart from this understanding, people start to think something is owed to them. Who owes them? They can’t say–the universe, fate, karma, some amorphous, nondescript cartoon version of “god.” But they are convinced they are owed.
Friend, we are owed nothing. Yet God’s mercies are new every morning. Time to start thanking Him.
[originally posted on the “A Better Story” blog]