Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. (1 Tim. 6:17-18)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Do You Really Deserve God's Special Treatment?

I Think I Deserve Special Treatment

As Christians, I think we can fall into a trap of thinking that we deserve the special favor of God Almighty. We've worked hard for the Lord, been faithful in our service to His church, and attempted to do everything He has called us to do. This should all count for something, right? We're tight with God now; we're best buds with the Boss.

Because we're doing everything we're supposed to be doing for the Lord, then I believe we do start getting an attitude of "I deserve, because..." I am deserving of God's special treatment because I'm doing my quiet time each morning, being at church every time the doors are open, and sing in the choir. I'm giving at least 10% of my income back to God. I help provide meals for the homeless. Everything I do is for God's Kingdom and there should be some kind of pay off for all this hard work. Being a servant of God is challenging, don't you know?

Reality Check

I don't think anyone can blame us for falling into the "I deserve" mindset. We all get there from time to time. It gets really bad, though, when we think we're deserving of special treatment of the Lord in a special circumstance - healing from a deadly illness, extra money to get out of debt faster, or a new car to replace your Dave Ramsey beater [insert your item of special "I deserve" treatment here].

"God, I've been good, so give me x, y, and z for my faithful service to You!"

In Luke 17:7-10, Jesus addressed this Christian duty/special treatment mentality:

“Suppose one of you has a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Will he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? Won’t he rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’”

Hmmm, we're just unworthy, lowly servants. We've done our duty. There should be no expectations of special treatment for doing the Lord's work faithfully.

What's Your "But God..."

But God, I deserve [insert special favor from the Lord, here] because I've been your favorite servant lately, right? But God, I put up with a lot of garbage from certain people because I am a faithful servant to Your calling on my, show me the money! But God, I'm tired of serving You right now. I need a little breather, so provide me with rest and relaxation. I need a vacation to Mexico. Yeah, God, that would be the bomb!

I don't know what your "But God..." is. I'm assuming you have one. We all do at some level. We all have something we wish God would give us because we're being good little Christians. As God's servants, though, we don't deserve anything. We have been given a duty to do. We are blessed to even be considered worthy enough of God's calling us to be His servants in the first place. In and of itself, that should be blessing enough.

I also know, though, that God loves us like crazy. We're not only His servants, but we're also His children! He enjoys giving great gifts to His kids (Matthew 7:7-11). I'm sure all of us have experienced some pretty incredible blessings from the Lord. The key here, though, is our attitude. Because we are servants of Almighty God, we do have a Christian duty to perform. We should have no expectations for special treatment for doing our duty.

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