The jingle struck a chord with consumers. The commercials often showed people exercising, working hard or frantically running errands. After all that hard work, they deserved a break. They deserved a Big Mac and fries.
Advertisers love to stroke our egos. “You deserve a new car,” they tell us. “You deserve a vacation.” “You deserve our product.”
We like to hear that. We look at our lives and convince ourselves that we’ve earned what we have. We deserve it. In fact, we deserve much more. We work hard. We are good people. We deserve a break today.
The truth is, though, it’s all a lie. It’s all a product of Madison Avenue manipulation. You and I deserve only one thing: God’s punishment.
The only thing we have earned with our lives is an eternity in hell. We are terrible sinners who do terrible things. If it were left to us, our homes, our lives and our families would be in ruins.
That truth is hard to hear and even harder to accept.
Everything I have and everything I am is due solely to God’s amazing grace. As Christians, we easily let those words flow from our lips, but then we look at our homes, our closets, our cars and our families and think to ourselves, “Look what I have done! Look what I have earned with all my sweat and sacrifice.”
And yes, you did work hard, but who gave you the ability and opportunity to do that work? There are people in many parts of the world who work just as hard or even harder than you do and yet have far less. There are people much smarter, much more talented and much kinder than you who enjoy only a small percentage of the blessings you do.
Why do you have so much more? How did you become the person, the father, the mother, the husband or wife you are?
It is because God in his grace doesn’t treat you as you deserve. You deserve to die. You deserve to rot in hell for all your pride and prejudice, for all your lies and lust.
Yet God loved you so much he died your death and suffered your hell. God loves you so much he showers you with gifts you don’t deserve.
This week we celebrate Thanksgiving. As Americans we like to talk a big game about how thankful we are. Yet, deep down, who are we really thanking on Thanksgiving?
Think about it. If I earned what I have with all my hard work, then the person I should thank is me. But I didn’t earn it. I don’t deserve it. The only thing I deserve is hell.
The secret to true and overwhelming thankfulness is seeing all God has given me and recognizing I don’t deserve any of it.