“I deserve to be happy”
I recently read an interview where that explanation was given for making a decision. A decision that pretty much everyone knew was bad but that was explained away with the misguided idea of deserving happiness.
In fact, neither that person interviewed nor any of us deserve happiness. We actually deserve death and eternal separation from our Maker. That is what we have earned.
For the wages of sin is death … Romans 6:23
The message in church yesterday touched on the difference between living an entitled versus a surrendered life. Jesus responds differently to people, depending on how they approach him. In his hometown (Luke 4:30) or with the Pharisees (Matthew 16:4), Jesus didn’t need to prove himself. And he walked away when faced with pride and skepticism. But when faced with someone who had faith (Matthew 8:10), Jesus worked miracles.
When we surrender, Jesus responds to our faith. Jesus moves when we recognize that anything good is a gift from him.
It is easy to give into the feeling of entitlement. Why not feel entitled when I am told by everything in this culture that I deserve good things when I work hard or help others or just because I have suffered enough?
But I don’t want to waste my life by thinking it is my own. I did not earn good things, but was saved from my sin by Jesus.
So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters.Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.
He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession.
James 1:16-18 (NLT)
Finally, in 1st Corinthians 6, God tells us that because we are not our own, we have a calling to serve our Lord and not ourselves.
Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
The Bible doesn’t mention happiness as a benefit of surrendering to the Lord. Happiness is not even what we should desire. Why seek a fading emotion when we can have so much more! We are promised that when we believe in Jesus we will be filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy! (1 Peter 1:8).
I certainly don’t deserve that!