Deserve’s Got Nothing To Do With It

unforgiven6Unforgiven is arguably one of the best movies ever made. During the climax at the end of the movie, Gene Hackman’s character, who is seriously wounded and about to be killed, looks up at Clint Eastwood and simply says, “I don’t deserve this.” Then, like an avenging angel, Clint Eastwood simply states back, “deserves got nothing to do with it.” One of the biggest issues that I deal with on a regular basis is the understanding that I can’t earn what I’ve received. Knowing myself and how wretched I can be at times and realizing the God still loves me is beyond my comprehension. The idea that God would choose to use me out of everyone else in the world is perplexing. This is not saying that I am NOT grateful, only that, at times, I am confused as to why me?

The interesting thing about the fact that I am being used to help build the Kingdom or the fact that God would be so merciful as to save someone like me is not beyond precedent. The Bible is full of stories of flawed men and women who are used by God in order to fulfil His will. At the end of the day, God understands that no one is capable of being perfect in His eyes and He uses who He chooses.

Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use? – Romans 9:21

261cb2282f86f426c32a46b2a92fa6efWhether it was David, a man who committed adultery, murdered the husband of his mistress and got her pregnant. Whether it was Paul of Tarsus, a man who was responsible for the imprisoning of countless early Christians and even responsible for the death of the first martyr, Stephen. Whether it was the woman who committed adultery and was about to be stoned but who served as an example of how sinful we all are (John 8:7). God sees men and women who are flawed, but who are still able to do His will.

I think that many people have an issue with accepting salvation due to the fact that they don’t believe that they deserve it. They see their past sins or even their current transgressions as a barrier to earning God’s love. I will tell you that even a person who has not willfully or willingly committed sin (no one) still doesn’t deserve the grace of God. For even those who are intentional and who rarely do anything that is counter to the commandments of God still fall short of the glory and are dead in the spirit. Whether it is a stray lustful thought or whether it is murder, in God’s eyes we are all dead in sin unless we come to accept the sacrifice that Jesus accepted for us. A pious believer is no more worthy of salvation than a non-believing rapist. This might seem extreme and over the top, but it does not make it any less true.  “Deserves got nothing to do with it!”

God loves you and he understands your flaws and your shortcomings. He knew you before He breathed life into you. He knew your every action and He knew your every sin and He still wants you. Why? I believe that the answer is intuitive. If God knows all, is everywhere at once and has the ability to control life and death, then you are intentional. You were born with a purpose and even though you sin and you transgress against the will of God, He still wants you here for a reason. The reality is that “deserves got nothing to do with it” but that it’s just the way it is. God loves you. Are you willing to receive that love?

Michael Davis
Senior Editor of Veterans to Christ. Served as a Cavalry Scout from 2005-2009. Iraq Veteran.