It is a question we are asked nearly every day and, if we are honest, answer without any real thought. We answer half-heartedly, almost out of repetition. When someone says, “How are you today?” We say, “I am doing okay,” or “I am doing well,” even if we are not. We need to learn to share honest responses. More than that, as Christians, we ought to make it a habit of giving a biblical response. No phrase fits better in reply than these three words: Better than I deserve!
What We Deserve
Far from being a filler for conversation, better than I deserve captures a precious truth about the Christian life. It is the reality for the person who has been saved by the grace of God through the gospel of Jesus Christ. Romans 6:23 sums it up beautifully, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” A wage is a payment we have earned from the work we have done. It is something we deserve. A gift, on the other hand, is something we are freely given from someone willing to extend it to us. It is not given because we inherently deserve it. The truth of Romans 6:23 tells us what we deserve is death for the work we have done, namely sin. Thankfully, the verse does not end there. It goes on to show us that God, through the person and work of Jesus Christ, extends to us His grace, the very thing we do not deserve. For all who repent of their sin and trust in Jesus alone for salvation, they will receive the gift of eternal life.
Better than We Deserve
The death we earn because of our sin is more than just a physical passing. It is a spiritual separation from eternal life with God. That means another day of life and another moment of breath is better than we deserve. Another week of work and the ability to study for school are reminders we have it better than we deserve. Yet, we tend to forget. We lose sight of the grace God has given us and we begin to view life through an entitled lens. We believe we deserve to get what we want when we want it. If we do not receive the pay raise or gain the recognition for our accomplishment or achievement in school or life, we grumble. We forget the truth of Romans 6:23. But when we reflect and remember this truth, our attitude will begin to change. As God’s word convicts us of our sin and shines the light on salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, our grumbling for what we believe we deserve will turn into gratitude because we have it better than we deserve. We are not entitled to anything good but are entrusted with the good we have by and from a gracious God!
In the Word and With Our Words
To truly give such a response does not come naturally. Our hearts are not typically inclined to respond in this manner unless we have made it a habit to intake God’s Word. Only as we study and meditate on His Word while we delight and depend on Him in prayer will our affections penetrate our attitudes and actions. When we spend time in the Word, God will transform our words. So, as you spend time in God’s Word this week, how will you let it impact your response when someone asks you, “How are you today?” By God’s grace, after my time in the Word, my reply will be, “Better than I deserve!”