Monday, October 16, 2017

Better Than I Deserve

A radio talk show host has made famous a phrase now used by many. When asked, “How are you?”, they respond with, “Better than I deserve.” On the surface this sound rather noble and altruistic. The reality is, for the Christian, it is part of what is keeping the Church hamstrung and off mission.

Here is the truth. You deserve to die. Therefore anything short of death is better than you deserve. The reason Jesus came and gave His life in exchange for yours is so you can have His life. Scripture calls it abundant life. The Greek word is “zoe”, which means, “life and plenty of it.” That is much better than you deserveD (capital D for emphasis), but because of Jesus (for the Christian) you now deserve the life of a child of God. That life is full of joy, peace, longsuffering, healing, provision, strength, passion, and this list goes on and on.

If you are still living at the doorway into the Kingdom (where many Christians live) then you keep the mindset of “better than I deserve.” That is not humility at all. It is actually pride disguised as humility. You are actually boasting about the fact that God is not faithful to His promise to give you the abundant life that He promised.

Look at few folks in the Bible that knew a thing or two about the God they served. Adam named all the animals that God created. Noah built a boat before rain was invented, in a desert, in order to preserve the human race. Abraham believed what God said before it was a thing. It’s called faith. David learned the ways of God as a shepherd, then led armies against the enemies of Israel and united the kingdom under his reign. Moses went before pharaoh to free the nation of Israel from captivity. The prophets spoke forth that which they heard from an invisible God and brought things into sight for all to see.

John the Baptist declared he was the voice of one crying in the wilderness, preparing the path for the Anointed One that would come after him. Paul forsook everything he knew about God to embrace that which he had only encountered briefly on the Damascus road. John wrote a vision after being banished to an island to die.

All of these, and many, many more, knew who they were. What if any one of them had said, “I’m better off than I deserve.” Thank God, they didn’t. If you are a Christian, wake up and realize that “you are much more than you have become.” (Lion King) You don’t have to settle for scraps at the threshold of the Kingdom. Step inside and learn about the life that has been provided for you through the sacrifice of our Savior, Jesus Christ.