What I Deserve

concept-car

I don’t watch a lot of TV, and virtually everything I view is pre-recorded to a DVR. The coolest feature of my DVR is the ability to fast-forward through commercials. After years of conditioning, I am accustomed to non-commercial TV viewing. I’m blessed that way. When I do see commercials on TV it’s because I am watching a live sporting event. So I have a question…

When did car companies begin marketing their products based on their perception of my worth?

According to the commercials that got my attention,

I deserve to own (or lease) one of the automobiles they are selling.

I am entitled to splurge on a luxury car.

I will be the envy of all who see me driving one of these vehicles.

From what I gather, it isn’t necessary that I look like an actor, be employed as a spy, have mad NASCAR driving skills, enjoy speeding by other drivers, or keep my automobiles sparkling clean… but apparently it helps.

If I have one of these things, it is implied that I will have a gorgeous woman (or women) admiring me. Maybe some guys, too. Or maybe they would be lusting after my fancy vehicle… it is difficult to determine from a commercial. Tempting as that may be, I’m not yet convinced I need to spend $50,000 or more on a car.

If commercials aren’t trying to sell me a vehicle, they’re trying to sell me a pill (with a gorgeous woman looking at me in admiration – figure that one out). I have a theory that the stress of making payments on a luxury vehicle, always keeping it clean, constantly looking around to see if someone is noticing me, and trying to look like an actor might be contributing factors for why ED pills would be on my shopping list. Or maybe I need prescription heartburn medication since I’m agitated that no beautiful women are looking at me or my ride.

Being told I deserve something by people who don’t know me is what gives me heartburn. I know I don’t deserve luxury; I don’t deserve the 7-year-old truck in my garage. Or the garage, for that matter.

When I confessed to (agreed with) God that my sinful life disqualified me from… well, everything but eternal death… Jesus did not tell me

“You deserve to be pardoned. You are entitled to be released from the penalty of death. You are AWESOME! Go buy yourself a luxury sports car.”

He did not say that to me. What He said was

“Yes, I know. I know everything about you. All you have done and thought and said. Even the things you’ve forgotten. And I love you. What you just confessed is why I had to pay the price for you. And I would do it again so we can be together.”

This truth in love broke my hardened heart. I will never forget that moment. The entitlement commercials starve my heart and force-feed my ego. If you don’t know me personally, just trust me on this:  my ego is too full already, it doesn’t need another helping.

When I encounter truth as God reveals it to me, so many times I am upended and rolled over like a rubber duck in a typhoon. But those truths are rock-solid. Jesus loves me, this I know. He tells me truth not to quench my ego but to fill my thirsty soul.

No, thank you: I don’t deserve a luxury car. I know what I deserve, and it is not at all pleasant. The question today isn’t what do I deserve, it’s what do I need. I need Jesus.

triumph-of-the-cross

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