November 15, 2018
I have discovered that the word “deserve” is actually kind of loaded.
A while back someone told me that I should go ahead and do a certain thing for myself, because I deserved it. It was a remark made in pure kindness, and I appreciated the affirmation, but it started a train of thought that has been speaking to me ever since.
Yesterday a coupon came in an advertising packet directed to “affluent neighborhoods.”
“You deserve service this good!” said the coupon.
“So does everyone else!” said I.
Sometimes the underlying message is that if we deserve something extra good, we must be extra special—more special than some other people. Furthermore, sometimes the “deserving” messages perpetuate an attitude of entitlement.
On the other hand, I sometimes hear people say that something good happened to them, and they don’t feel like they deserve it. Why not? They deserve good just as much as anyone and everyone else.
Good comes to us in many different ways. So does hardship. Mostly it has nothing to do with what people “deserve.” It has to do with an infinite variety of factors that make up the complexities of all of our lives.
Rather than trying to decide what we or someone else deserves, we would do better spending our energy practicing gratitude and grace!
Let’s talk about that Sunday!
In Abundant Gratitude,
Quotes to ponder: “The joy beyond despair comes when we abandon the exhausting illusion of self-sufficiency and become the grateful recipients of the gifts that life provides.” ~Parker Palmer
“You don’t have to earn grace. It is not something that comes only to the good. It comes to all alike, because all alike are expressions of God.” ~Eric Butterworth
“Love protects us from nothing, even as it unexplainably sustains us in all things.” ~James Finley
Peggy Christiansen is the Spiritual Leader at Unity of Fort Collins. She has over 25 years of ministry experience working with diverse populations, a M.Div. from San Francisco Theological Seminary, and a special interest in helping people find and/or develop their unique spiritual paths. Listen to podcasts of her Sunday talks.