The flesh has a rabid sense of self-entitlement. It cries foul and unfair at every point where it feels that the scales are not in balance. When I have to clean up the dishes left by others, the flesh fuels me with anger and self-righteous resentment toward those who left them in the sink. Why do I have clean up their mess?! It is not fair.
That is law living to the core. It is “living by the scale of justice.”
But, do I really want to live by that scale? Do I really want what I deserve? When I look at the demands of the law, I think not, because my own mess ends up on the wrong side of the scale.
Thankfully, when he considered my mess, Jesus did not grow angry and resentful. Instead, in a most unexpected turn of grace, he receives upon himself what I deserve. Galatians 3:13 says, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us.”
On the cross, he cleaned up the mess of my sinful flesh that required judgement and condemnation. He became a mess in my place so that I could be clean—fully clean, now and forever. I’m covered with the atoning teflon of Jesus’ blood. No charge now can stick. The scales of God’s justice have been shattered by God’s mercy.
That is gospel living to the core. I don’t get fair. I get mercy. I receive grace.
So when I sense that spirit of entitlement welling up from within, I pray that I will be able to say, “Deserve? What do I deserve? Ha! The only self-entitlement that I have is hell. And Jesus bore it for me.”
This means that I will never get what I deserve. Praise God!
Now, I am able to look at my mess and be grateful to God. Not for the mess, but for the cross—for Jesus. I am able to be patient with the mess of others, too. After all, I am the biggest mess I know—a great big, justified, adopted, and eternally and perfectly loved mess. When I can live there, the scales of justice that I have created in marriage, parenting and friendship are also abolished, just as they have been abolished for me in the gospel.
Yes, the best news that I could ever hear is that I will never get what I deserve!