I Deserve It!

“For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature.”  Galatians 5:17

That sinful nature we talked about yesterday often rears its head in the form of the thought I deserve more. It leads us to demand the best deal, the lion’s share, the most credit, and the finest of everything. From earliest childhood, as we have seen, our impulse is to focus on ourselves and to disregard the needs of others.

And, yes, this “I‐deserve‐it” attitude can permeate marriages. Resentment can build over who works the hardest, who spends more than his or her share of the money, and who is not doing enough to serve the other. Anger then erupts over insignificant irritants that bubble up from the cauldron of emotions. Many fights in marriage begin with the belief that we’re being cheated in the relationship.

Beware of this trap. The minute we begin thinking that we are en‐titled to more, we’ve started down the slippery road to selfishness. It can devastate a relationship.

John Ferrier didn’t deserve to die in an Ohio neighborhood—but when crisis came, he chose to sacrifice for others. Jesus didn’t deserve to be nailed to a wooden cross—but out of love for the Father and for us, He allowed Himself to be crucified. This kind of sacrificial love seeks to serve, not “deserve”—and that changes everything!

Just between us . . .

  • What do you feel we truly deserve in this life?
  • Do you sometimes feel that you’re not getting what you deserve in our marriage?
  • Is selfishness a problem for us?

Dear Lord, we need Your Spirit at work in us to overcome our self-centered impulses. By Your grace, empower us to serve instead of to “deserve.” Amen.

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This devotional is taken from Night Light for Couples. Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reservedUsed with permission.