It is impossible to live logically, to think, feel, and act-in the light of God’s truth. It just does not come natural!
Whether it is, friends at church, or family of origin, or friends at work, or marriages, we get into relationships, with certain irrational tendencies that always lead to destruction. Three of these are:
Think with me, if it were not for the finished work of Jesus on the cross, what would be our best expectation, in this world and the next? Nothing but misery and loss in this world / and eternal damnation after that.
“My rights?” I have the right to pay for my sins by going to hell for all eternity.
My needs? I need only 1 thing and that is relationship with Jesus Christ. Life itself is not a need! For me to live is Christ, to die is gain.
Yes I know the Bible says, “having food and clothing, be content.” I would argue that even these things are often taken away from God’s people and they still remain content by focussing on the fact that they still have Jesus. As Job said, God gives and God takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord.
We are counted a sheep for the slaughter and killed all the day long. Some of us are cut apart by swords, others starve to death in famines, or are killed in wars, or die of terrible illnesses. In all of these things, we are more than conquerors, through Christ who loved us, and gave himself for us. For nothing(not height, or depth, or governments, or spiritual powers, or things present, or things to come, or even things in the past: can separate us from the love of God–My only real need.
So what are the consequences of the normal and natural tendency to come at life with aggressive defense of my rights, demanding my needs, and taking my expectations for granted or being upset when they don’t occur?
All of these activities lead to ingratitude, bitterness, and selfishness.
So what is the answer? Let us go back to the moment of our salvation when we realized that we were at the chief of sinners, could not pay for our sins, and we cast ourselves upon the finish work of Jesus Christ. That was the first point we had any real humility. We saw that, “in me dwells no good thing.”
We then accepted, saw, and acted-in our infinite worth in Jesus Christ.
The gap between those 2 views should increase throughout my whole life. I need to see more and more that any good coming out of me is Christ in me. It is no longer I who live but he who lives in me. Everything that I am or have was given to me. So how can I take credit?
I have found an invariable rule, (if I am irritated, upset, or angry/then there must be some irrational need, right, or expectation that I have not yielded to my Lord.) I need to take this one also and give it to God. He will do a much better job of defending my rights than I ever could. I need to learn to have much or to have little/both to abound and to suffer lack, and be content no matter what.
This does not mean that I do not get angry at sin and how it damages the sinner. No I am to hate evil and hunger for righteous but be content with such things as I have, for he will never leave me nor forsake me.