Today I bought a donut.
Oh the sweet, sticky carbs.
However, since eating my donut, I’ve realized it was a bad decision. Not just because in a few bites I consumed a nasty amount of not healthy calories, or because I got a few crumbs on the seat of my car.
The problem with this donut was the attitude with which I bought it.
I started today feeling pretty on top of things. I’d gone to the pool, gotten to school early to study before class, and set up a weekend Skype chat with a far away friend. Then I got an email, and stress kind of slapped me in the face. Technology had not worked in my favour for an online submission, and I was left all day wondering if I’d be left with a 0% on a paper. My grumpiness and self-pity grew and grew. On the way home I decided that, because life was working against me, I deserved a donut.
This decision shone light on an attitude I know is one I’ve had to deal with previously, and I’m probably not the only one. It’s the “But I deserve ___” attitude. Something has not gone our way, be it uncontrollable extenuating circumstances, or the consequences of our previous choices.Today it was a donut because technology had messed my day up. Yesterday it was not having to help my dad because I had homework left I’d been putting off, and I was tired from getting up to watch the 4 a.m. gold medal game.
What if I extend this thought to bigger things? Scholarships, jobs, vacations, health… Aren’t these questions (read “complaints”) we bring to God?
When things don’t go our way, we turn to God and ask, “don’t I deserve better?” and out of that, we begin to expect something to compensate for our misfortune. If we don’t catch this attitude, it can settle in our hearts and rot into bitterness.
I am not entitled to anything! What I have is there because God has chosen to bless me. Whether because of effort I’ve put forth or not, it is not for me to decide the way life works. Somehow, even in my whiny moments, God has blessed me, He continues to bless me, and He delights in blessing me!
He blessed Potiphar, not because of what he had done, but because of the righteousness of Joseph, who was a part of his household.
Joseph was falsely accused of molesting the man’s wife and thrown in prison. (Genesis 39)
I don’t know if Joseph struggled with a whiny “But I deserve ___” attitude, I sure would have! However, we all know that God had a bigger plan for him than immediate pacification. Let’s look at the big picture! Would I rather have the 5 minute pleasure of sugary goodness, or take the time to lay my cares before Jesus, drawing closer to Him and submitting to His plan?
I will be forever grateful God chose to give me spiritual life and reconcile me to Himself, rather than the isolation from Him that I deserve. I have fallen short of the glory of God, and no excuses or good works can change that.
“Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that [I] am righteous.” (Romans 3: 23-26)