Have you ever felt like you were owed something? Maybe you held the door open for someone, but they hardly noticed. Deep down you thought to yourself, “How ungrateful can a person be? They could have at least said thank you.” Or maybe you stop in the middle of traffic to allow a car to pull out of the spot they had been stuck in for several minutes, only to have them pull out without a wave or smile as if you didn’t do anything to help them. You probably thought to yourself, “They could have at least waved.”
Welcome to the wonderful world of pride. It’s a world many of us have traveled through. Any time we do something for someone else, we sort of expect them to do something in return, don’t we? If I hold the door open for you, you say thank you. If I let you pull out in front of me while traffic is busy, you give a friendly wave. If I let you cut me in line at Chic-fil-A, you tell me what a good American I am. We think we are owed something in return for our service.
What about with God though? I highly doubt any of us would ever admit to thinking God owes us, but most likely we do. Think about it like this. Let’s say you live a Christian life to the highest standard. When people look at you they know you are a person of God; it’s written all over you by the things you say and do. You never miss an opportunity to worship and praise God. About the worst thing you ever did was talk back to your momma and you only did that once because you received the worst spanking of your life after you did. You are about as good of a Christian as there has ever been. Your life is good and you are tremendously blessed by God.
Then one day everything changes. One day you lose your job. One day your marriage falls apart. One day you find out someone less qualified got the job you really wanted. One day the only child you have is taken from you. One day a parent or spouse leaves you. One day you are diagnosed with a terrible illness. One day something happens to you that completely turns your world upside down. How do you respond?
Chances are you respond the same way a lot of us might respond; you want to know why God allowed this to happen to you. How could He let this happen after all the years of service you have given Him? You have done a lot of good in His name. You have dedicated your life to Him. What is He doing up there? He’s certainly not taking care of you. He owes you, right?
Jesus, when talking to His disciples about service, said, “So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty’” (Luke 17:10). Jesus taught His disciples that obeying what they had been taught and being faithful in service, didn’t entitle them to anything.
When we don’t like what happens in our lives, let’s not be so quick to get angry with God, no matter how faithful we have been. Remember, our faithfulness was our duty. We are servants. We are here to serve Him. God doesn’t owe us anything for our service to Him. He’s already paid for our service by the sacrificial gift of His Son on the cross. Jesus hung where we should have hung (Rom. 5:8) and even that was something we were never owed.
God doesn’t owe us anything but we owe Him everything!
Now that’s Something to Think About!