God does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. Psalm 103:10 (NIV)
For my birthday this year, I received a generous gift card from my kids to a local nail salon. Not an ordinary salon, mind you. This place is posh. One glance at my nails bears evidence that I don't indulge in regular spa-like treatments.
When I told my oldest daughter I’d made an appointment for a manicure and pedicure, she said, “You deserve it.”
My inner voice readily agreed, “Yeah. I do.”
I felt my chest puff a little, then it sank. Deserved it?Because from God’s perspective, what do I really deserve?
Not manicures and pedicures enjoyed at posh salons.
We've likely said the same thing to others—either with or without sincerity. For me, "You deserve it" is more of a default comment that translates as,
"Because I care about you, I desire that you to experience something good and pleasurable."
Harmless, really, as was my daughter's intent, but it got me pondering what I deserve—what we all deserve.
God brought a couple verses in Psalm 103 to mind.
God does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:10, 12
God has justifiable reasons to whisk us off the planet. The nature of his holiness doesn't tolerate sin, yet his fierce love compels him to sustain us here. Our sin state earned us the worst of fates, but he lavishes us with his kindness that leads to repentance. (Romans 2:4)
At the cross, God didn't just lift our sin burden off and set it in a far corner of the room. He removed our transgressions from us equal to the distance between east and west—directions so extremely opposed they will never intersect.
So, What Do We Deserve?
1. We deserve death, yet God grants abundant life. (John 10:10)
2. We deserve eternal separation from him, yet God draws us close. (Psalm 34:18)
3. We deserve his wrath, yet God doesn't harbor his anger forever. (Psalm 103:9)
4. We deserve poverty, yet God lavishes us with salon-quality pampering.
While I'm having my hands and feet massaged and manicured and polished, I'll receive the undeserved gift with an attitude of gratitude and humility.
My softened hands, nails gleaming in a pop of color, will undoubtedly invite comments. "Aw, you deserved it!" What an ideal opportunity to communicate that, no, I didn't, but God is exceedingly good to us that way and we are the object of his delight.
☀︎When was the last time someone told you that you deserved something—a break, a vacation, a manicure? What was your response?
☀︎How can we revel in God's goodness to us without feeling guilty or unworthy?
Thanks for reading!
If you were inspired by today's post and know others who would enjoy it, I'd be super grateful if you'd share.
1. I'm working on the third round of edits on Sweeter with You—book 2 in The Heart of Moreland Manor series (Elk Lake Publishing, Inc.). I'm enjoying Serenity and Owen's story so much!
2. I'm close to completing A Steel Rose, a contemporary romance novella that's part of a multi-author project (MAP). Each story is set in the fictional town of Wild Rose Ridge in central Washington. My story will release 3rd (of 7) on March 28th, 2023.
In January, we'll launch a Wild Rose Ridge Reader Facebook group. To follow the journey and get in on tons of GIVEAWAYS, I invite you to sign up for my quarterly author newsletter.
Until next time,
MARY'S FICTION SHELF
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Prequel to The Heart of Moreland Manor series.
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