Friday, 03 December 2010
We're so used to being gifted that we often begin to see gifts as rights and we gain a sense of entitlement that we were never meant to have (even with God's original plan). I'm entitled to people being kind towards me, entitled to a home, to food, to whatever else. Well, that's what I want to think anyway. But the truth is, I'm not. In a perfect world I could expect those things at every turn but this is a world filled with sin and is no longer perfect. As soon as Adam and Eve left the garden they had to work for food, clothing, shelter. Outside the garden there was murder, sexual sin, etc. Inside the garden was only perfection. Gifts were nonstop and were the only thing one could expect because they were the only thing one could know! What was once expected was no longer such after sin entered the world. Paradise and perfection still can't be expected because sin still infests the universe. We're not entitled to anything but holy justice. Even then, we're shown mercy in Christ! To expect anything seems ungrateful of what God gave us, gives us, and promises to give us in the future. It ignores what we've done and what we continue to do as sinful people.
Homes, friends, health, comforts; These are mercies. These are gifts from a good and righteous Father to sinful and undeserving children. Now I'm not saying sinful people deserve rape, murder, homelessness, or anything like that. After all, we are supposed to treat one another well. However, those terrible happenings are results of sinful people. Of course babies don't deserve to be raped, but they also don't deserve to be born into a world of sin. Yet they are. And every child ever born has been born into a sinful world and every future born child will be because every human being (outside of Christ) has sinned and created a world which destroys the opportunity for continually expecting good. What we deserve because of sin is an eternal matter. What we get right now because of sin is consequences and unfortunately they aren't always fair. It's not fair that innocent children are harmed but that's the result of having sinful people living in the world before the birth of that child! We've created a world that was not intended exist. It's not right but it's also not what God wanted. If it is good, it is a gift. If it is bad, it's a result of sin (either by men or angels).
We should provide food and safety for those entering the world and those wandering in it. We should do all we can to be like Eden even though we can't make that happen on our own efforts. We must accept the tension of the already-but-not-yet-kingdom found in Christ Jesus. We know things SHOULD be one way (good and fair) but we also ought to know we don't deserve things to be that way and thus we can't expect things to be that way. We can expect things to be bad and unfair. We can expect to get what is wrong according to what God planned and created. It sucks but that's how it is. Things are supposed to be good but that doesn't mean we deserve things to be good or that we even ought to expect them to be good. However, we can hope for good. Even with this outlook we can rejoice in the good and be disappointed with the bad. We recognize the way things ought to be and feel the pain of when things don't meet that ideal. We rejoice greatly when things do meet that ideal though! In all of this, there is hope. Even if we have negative expectations we can have positive hopes.
Thank God for his mercy. He gives us so much more than we deserve. He helps us move towards what he intended for us. He works within and among us to bring about restoration so that someday we can expect good things at every turn. It's in Christ we find that hope. Praise God (from whom all blessings flow)!
What do you think about this notion? Agree or disagree? Why?