Definition of deserve – Merriam-Webster Dictionary
– deserved; deserving
: to be worthy of : merit
- deserves another chance
: to be worthy, fit, or suitable for some reward or requital
- … have become recognized as they deserve.
- —T. S. Eliot
- a worse punishment than he deserved
I hate the word “deserve”. I hate it even more when used as a tool to measure up what the value of a person is.
I have said it before and I didn’t say it as a joke: If I was God, the world wouldn’t exist. People just plain piss me off. I would have stopped half way through Day Six and not created man or fish… or more likely I would have just created puppies and horses. So I guess there would be a lot of things I wouldn’t have created… or I’m really simple and don’t need a lot to make me happy. I am not God, you’ll be pleased to know, so that is a moot point.
But I do love people because as people we have a unique ability to express compassion, empathy, love, generosity, kindness, resilience, strength and all those good little things. And even when people are not behaving nicely, they’re still people that make my heart ache in all the good and bad ways.
You may wonder how I can, within the same breath, declare my love for people and yet admit that they annoy me beyond belief. It’s simple. God has given me a tremendous capacity and capability to love – love, however, isn’t blind to bad behaviour.
This, however, isn’t an entry on how much I hate this world. It isn’t. And I don’t hate the world. It just annoys me a great deal. A great, great, great deal.
So I’ll start again.
My topic of conversation today is going to be about stepping out of our own bubble. Our self-centredness. Stop looking inwards so much (in terms of yourself as an individual with your own singular agenda) and think more of yourself as part of a fully functioning organism that needs you to cooperate as much as it needs everyone else to do so as well.
Otherwise you can’t move forward.
We are so focused on how to make our own comfort possible, our own happiness happen that we forget we’re not alone in this world and that looking out for number one (ourselves), more than likely hurts someone else in the process. Why? Because we were created for community. God did not create us to be alone… otherwise He would have stopped at Adam. No, we were created for fellowship and relationships. We were created for sharing, caring, loving and heck, even fighting. When we do things with others, we blossom.
It’s so very true.
Take a moment to look around you and you will notice that life just isn’t as much fun when you’re on your own, if for nothing else that you want to rant about how awful your day was.
I personally like my quiet moments, away from the business and demands of everyone in my life – but I wouldn’t be able to enjoy those quiet moments without first doing life with these people. The same way we can’t grow if we don’t face challenges and difficult seasons or how much more exciting the summer seems when you’re coming out of a cold winter or how refreshing a cool wind is in a scorching hot day.
I am rambling now and you’re probably asking what this has got to do with the word and my sentiments behind “deserve”.
Our focus on ourselves and what we deserve and what our loved ones deserve keeps us from doing life. Have you ever noticed that we only ever care about what anyone deserves because it somehow links back to you and your well being? We’re entitled and complacent and we float through life expecting everything to fall neatly into our laps because we’re: nice, polite, honest, hard working, young, old, prosecuted, indulged, studious, family history, bad luck, our good luck, high morals or lack thereof… just about everything. We have grown up in a culture that pretty much believes it’s own bull and expects everything to be served in a golden platter.
I had a humbling moment with my friends a few nights ago, were I was ranting about how a little old man was “set straight” on his attempt to make small talk with a customer, at my local supermarket. I generalised within that conversation and stereotyped about this particular group of people although admittedly, they are not the only group of people walking around with a chip on their shoulder and a dented ego, expecting the world to give them what they “deserve.” That’s the problem though, isn’t it? We all have so many issues and offences and hurt feelings that we forget that we ourselves and those around us are people. Instead, we posture around and compare our hurts, bumps and bruises and try to outdo each other on who is worst off so that we can get what we –you guessed it– deserve.
Stop being offended, stopped being a victim, stop hating on others, stop pushing others down, stop comparing yourself to others, stop belittling each other, stop belittling yourself!
I’m learning to react differently to this world’s expectations and how they are meted out when people do or don’t do as required and I’m not saying that doing good things and wanting good things for yourself and your loved ones is a bad thing. Not at all.
We just need to refocus.
It takes an immense amount humility of to be self-aware and God-directed but you won’t be doing it alone.
Thankfully, we have a merciful and gracious God that has decided to love us regardless of our fallen and sinful nature, because what we truly deserve is a slap in the face and death.
Plain and simple.
I am working on my anger issues.
I keep hearing it a lot this year at Church but there is so much truth behind the statement. Live for the audience of One. Jesus. It is such a simple message and simple truth to live by. Not an easy road to follow but it is simple. The hard work, really, is refocusing back on Jesus.
Take your eyes away from how difficult life is, all the bills you have to pay, how offensive the world around you is and remember, these season won’t last forever. With a blink of an eye, things shall pass. Our lives included.
The only one worthy and deserving of anything good and right in this world, and the next, is Jesus. As Christians, we believe that He has made us worthy and deserving of a relationship with God, our Father, but it very much isn’t our doing — but it is ultimately our choice.
So what do you deserve? Everything.
But it hasn’t cost you a thing. It did cost Jesus His life because to Him, you are precious.