“I just don’t think it’s fair.”
I was complaining to my husband, and the frustration of the day poured out of me as I recounted the story. I had played by the rules, poured my heart and soul into a project, and worked my tail off to get it done.
And then I had sat back and watched as someone else received the praise for all of my hard work.
My blood was boiling, and I couldn’t tell if I wanted to scream or cry.
Later that night, I was reading in Luke 6. When Jesus entered the synagogue and ran into a man whose hand was withered, I found myself nodding along. “Yes, Jesus. I feel withered, and I could really use a love story right now.”
But the more I read, the more I realized that I was not the man with the withered hand. Instead, God revealed to me how much my heart was like the heart of the Pharisees. I was focused on self-justification and frustrated because I was following the rules but not receiving the reward.
It is humbling to realize that sometimes you’re the bad guy in your own story. It wasn’t about whether I was in the right or not; it was about the state of my heart.
The irony of the Pharisees is that the people who were supposed to love God the most were the ones who ended up killing Him. They were the main antagonists to Jesus, and we become antagonists to His message when we become focused on self-righteousness.
Rule-following did not save my soul; grace did. When I meditate on that truth, my attitude switches from self-importance and pride to gratitude and humility.
Ultimately, God reminded me that life is not fair. But neither is the Gospel—and thank goodness! I don’t get what I deserve, because I get what Jesus deserved instead. He did all of the work, and I get all of the credit.
How’s that for a love story? ♥️
God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us,
so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.
— 2 Corinthians 5:21