Three words that have devastated lives, including marriages, families, and more: You deserve it. The enemy whispers these words in our ears, tempting us to go try to "get what’s ours". Satan tells us to take what belongs to us. Oh, he will hide the fact that getting what we deserve is really something no one would choose in a moment of true clarity. On our best day, apart from Christ, there’s not a thing we deserve. We can’t earn our own way. But the world, the flesh, and the devil will try to convince us otherwise.
If you’re a follower of Jesus, I think you’re with me when I say we don’t want to get what we deserve. Instead, we admit the fact that we are in constant and desperate need of God's grace and mercy. The kind that’s given when Jesus took the punishment we deserved and gave us way more than we could ever earn. Just because He loves us so, so much.
We’ve talked about the comparison game this week. But it goes deeper than that—there are all kinds, all forms, of unhealthy competition stemming from our sinful nature. Winning is fun, right? But win-at-all-costs will often cost more than we ever anticipated.
Are you the kind of person who turns everything into a competition? It’s gonna take time, but Jesus can help you untangle the emotional baggage at the root of the anger produced when someone else wins, when others succeed or finish ahead of you, when you feel insufficient or like a failure. Pray and ask Jesus to pull defensive anger out by the roots, and to help you respond in a way that’s helpful. We do not have to be driven to retaliation by the anger produced by pride.
Guess what? Let me say it gently but clearly: It’s OK for someone else to win. You can be comfortable in your own skin whether you win or lose. Go on and play hard. Have a ton of fun. But decide today to reject the belief that we have to win to be accepted, secure, or significant.
Proverbs 29:22 reminds us, “An angry person starts fights; a hot-tempered person commits all kinds of sin.” (NLT) Take the time to let God work in this corner of your heart, and many other areas of your life will experience healing and restoration as well.