We’ve all heard it. We’ve probably all said it of ourselves. Advertisements are full of it, and we’re all too ready to believe it. Is it true? Whatever “it” is, do we really deserve it?
When we speak of ourselves or someone else deserving something, we’re relying on our concept of justice to make that determination. Whether the desert is good or bad, we did something for which it is a just consequence. We may use the concept more generally regarding someone’s overall character, but character is revealed in action.
I cannot at this moment recall any time I have heard the phrase “I/You deserve it” spoken truthfully. The speaker may have believed it, but that didn’t make it true. We usually have an inflated view of ourselves and what we deserve. God tells us what we deserve through the Bible (Rom 6:23) and there’s nothing good about it. We deserve death. Every breath we take is an act of His mercy. Every good thing we have comes from Him (James 1:17.) When we start thinking this way our whole attitude changes. Demands are replaced with expressions of gratitude. Pride is overcome by humility. There is no room for jealousy. We will find ourselves glorifying Yahweh, creator and Lord of all that is and the only one who truly does deserve it.