The privilege of living in the wealthiest nation the world has ever seen provides many blessings. Most Americans enjoy opportunities that history never imagined. For many, not only has God supplied all of our needs, but also the great majority of our wants. When was the last time most of us had a real answer to the question “What do you want for Christmas?”.
Increasing wealth, even as a nation, offers increasing luxuries that are more and more couched in the language of rights. The modern discussion on human rights is relatively new to human history. Having a baseline for the dignity of mankind and how people should be treated makes sense, including from a biblical perspective. God created all of mankind in His image.
As a result of our sin, the dignity afforded us as His image bearers has been radically corrupted. We often mistreat one another while demanding an ever growing list of rights. The danger, of course, in expecting that everyone give us what we deserve, is in approaching God with the same attitude. None of us want to go before the Lord with a hard push for what we deserve. Quite the opposite, our plea sounds like “Oh Lord, in need your mercy, be gracious to me and don’t give me what I deserve”.
The wages of sin is death, and yet each of us continue to live. Doesn’t that mean that with every breath we should recognize the grace of God on us. If we got what we deserve from God we would have breathed our last long ago and be living very distant from His love. With this understanding, we have our primary reason for living with heart full of gratitude. Our lives become a deep appreciation for the incredible sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf with the realization He received what we deserved on the cross. He surrendered His rights as the perfect Son to make us right with the Holy Father. We respond to His passion with a passionate gratitude for the grace of God and generosity of Jesus. Praise Him with a grateful heart.
Todd R. Marrah, Ph.D