Have you ever felt like God owed you something for doing the right thing, or living the right way? I know I can’t be the only one who has felt this way before. Today I want to write about a personal experience that I’ve had about how sometimes as Christians, if we’re not careful, we can begin to feel like we deserve certain things or that God owes us certain things for “good behavior.”
Now, this may not be the case with everyone, but that was the case with me and boy did God slap me with his word to get me together. The area I struggled with was marriage. I felt like I deserved a good husband and that I deserved to be married and not have to wait because I had stayed a virgin.
I had to be honest with myself and admit that deep down there were feelings of envy towards others because I was still waiting and others who had not stayed virgins were getting married. Now, before you get in an uproar about that, I did not feel like they didn’t deserve to be married because they weren’t virgins, I just felt like, well dang Lord if you’re going to bless them with marriage, then why not me? #Jealous
I blame this feeling on how I was raised. Growing up, staying a virgin was something that was placed on a pedestal, not that you shouldn’t teach your children all of the positive reasons to stay a virgin until marriage, but I was taught indirectly that the person who was not a virgin was second best to the one who was.
I was even told that a virgin should not marry someone who was not a virgin, but that particular teaching never made sense to me, and I didn’t care that my husband was not a virgin when we got married. The thing that did stick with me, though, was when I was told that if I waited to have sex until marriage then God would bless me with the “best” when it comes to marriage and who I would marry. If you think about it this leaves the unanswered question, “will I not get the best if I don’t stay a virgin?”
Growing up with that mentality and unanswered question caused me to expect some sort of extra reward for staying a virgin until marriage so when Jesus finally brought to my attention that I was misinformed, I was mad. I was mad when Jesus showed me that I had a self-righteous prideful mentality and I even told Jesus, well dang, I could have just went out and had sex then because Lord knows I wanted to.
After I had my little moment I confessed to Jesus that what I was taught and my way of thinking was incorrect and self-righteous and prideful and asked him to help me, and boy did he help me. Right after I prayed that prayer he led me to read Luke 17:7-10 and when I tell you I got my butt tore up with that word, Jesus chastised me really good because to be quite honest, I still had an attitude about what he had shown me even after I had confessed it because I still wanted to have my way.
So he led me to read Luke 17:7-10 (NKJV) and this is what it says:
7. And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’? 8. But will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink’? 9. Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not. 10. So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’
When I read that I wanted to cry. My feelings were so hurt. Jesus told me through that passage “yea you’re still a virgin but you don’t get an extra special reward for that because you’re only doing what you’re supposed to do anyway. You’re supposed to wait until marriage to have sex, that’s just your reasonable service so get your life together you unprofitable servant.”
That immediately humbled me and my way of thinking and I am so grateful for it. There is no difference in the eyes of God between the woman who stays a virgin until marriage, the woman who decides to stop having sex and waits until marriage, or the woman who repents for premarital sex after getting married. They have all presented their bodies as living sacrifices, so them doing the right thing doesn’t entitle them to God’s favor.
Your situation or way of thinking may not be exactly like mine, but it is so easy to get lifted up in pride and feel entitled to the blessings of God when you’re trying to live by his word. It helps to remember that our righteousness is as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6) and it is ONLY because of the blood of Jesus that we are even presented righteous before God. That means none of us can earn ANY of the blessings that God has for us no matter what things we’ve tried to do or how long we’ve been trying to do the right thing.
We never at any time have any reason to feel like God owes us anything because he has already given us the GREATEST gift which is SALVATION. If you examine yourself and come to the conclusion, like I did, that you feel like God owes you something, confess it to Jesus on the basis of 1 John 1:9 and allow him to humble you. Him humbling you is not going to feel good, but it’s definitely going to be for your good.
Givin’ It To You Straight,
Ephesians 4:25 – Put away lying, speak every [wo]man truth with [her] neighbor: for we are members one of another.
Was there ever a time that you felt like you deserved something from God for “good behavior?” How did God deal with you concerning the matter?