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You Don't Have to Get What You Deserve

There is a prevailing attitude in the culture around me that says, "You should get what you deserve." This kind of thinking pervades all kinds of situations. Here's some examples:

- Guy can hit 100 homeruns, he deserves to get paid $100 million.
- Guy gets behind the wheel and hurts someone, he deserves to spend time in jail.
- Girl messes up her sister's make-up, she deserves to get her hair pulled.
- Girl struggles with addiction, she deserves to lose her kids.
- Guy organizes dog fighting, he deserves to suffer for the rest of his life.
- Girl gets pregnant as a teenager, she deserves to being ridiculed or labeled.
- Girl lived a nice moral life, she deserves prosperity and blessing.
- Guy never hurts anyone, he deserves to life a cancer free life.

I'm sure you can think of your own examples.

Most of the time the concept of: "my behavior = deserved result/consequence" is a good thing. It helps us understand boundaries and it has some potential to deter damaging behavior. It also is a positive way to make sure that people receive fair treatment and judgment for similar actions.
The amazing thing is the way the Bible takes this concept and totally flips it with regard to man's salvation.
Romans 6:23 says that all people have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Is it even arguable? All people mess up in one way or another. Everyone lies, steals, cheats, kills, or chases after other gods.

Watch the news. Talk to your neighbors. Read the paper.

No person is as Holy and Perfect as God. The result of this kind of sinful behavior is death. Death here in this life and eternal separation from God. So based on the aforementioned concept (my behavior = deserved result/consequence) humankind has a problem. Human beings are sinful, so human beings deserve death.

This is the astonishing news of the Gospel. Jesus Christ comes to earth and lives a sinless life. He then willingly sacrifices his ife on the cross and pays the penalty for the sin. And through faith his payment is applied to our debt. This is the Great Exchange of Christianity. Jesus lived the life we couldn't live and died the death we were supposed to die in order to pay the debt we could never pay.
Praise be to God that Jesus Christ became an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Praise him for GRACE and MERCY. Thank God that you don't have to get what you deserve.
Remember that during this Christmas season. And maybe imitate the behavior of God and show a little grace and mercy to those around you as well.
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