You Deserve Nothing…Sort Of

On its face, this statement seems to make sense and succeeds in pushing back against the sense of entitlement that runs rampant in today’s society. It feels good to say, if you want something, you have to work for it. It feels good to say you deserve nothing because then, if you achieve anything you do it in your own power and get all the credit.

But, is it true? Do we really deserve nothing?

While is some areas of life, we truly do deserve nothing, in the most real sense, we do deserve something. Unfortunately, what we deserve is not something we would ever want. What is it, you ask?

One word. Hell.

You see, by nature or by choice, we all deserve hell. Our sins demand that the holy judge of the world punish us eternally for breaking his law. We deserve that tormenting punishment because we have spit in the face of the one who created us and provides for all our needs.

Call it the American spirit, pulling yourself up by your bootstraps, or whatever you like, but it is ingrained in us to work for what we want. It’s for this reason that the idea of not deserving anything and working for what we get is so appealing.

But, when we look at what we truly deserve, we find that we do very little to get there. By simply “following our heart” (another popular cliche), we reinforce our deserved place in hell. We are born sinful and virtually everything we do is stained by sin, thus adding to that debt of sin we owe.

So, contrary to popular opinion, we do serve something. We, in fact, deserve many things:

  • Punishment
  • Death
  • Wrath
  • Eternal conscious torment

Nothing like raining sunshine down on your day, huh?

The Best Offer is What We Don’t Deserve

Back to the cliche, there is something offered to us that we don’t deserve. The difference is, this is something we can’t work for or earn. It’s the one thing we all desperately need and the one thing we are powerless to earn and could never deserve.

The solution to avoiding our served place in hell is the undeserved grace of God - offered to us in Jesus Christ.

By coming to earth as a human being, living a sinless life (which we should, but can’t and don’t), dying a horrific death (which we deserve to die) and rising from the grave, Jesus secured for us the opportunity to receive undeserved salvation, rather than deserved hell.

When we repent of our sins and trust in Jesus as our only hope, God pours out His grace and mercy, of which we are so undeserving, and adopts us as His children.

So, yes, in one sense, we deserve nothing (except hell). But, the thing we don’t deserve and can’t work for or earn, is the one thing we should long for and treasure above all else.

And, it’s offered as an amazing free gift.