Friday, April 27, 2012

"Better Than I Deserve"

     Recently, we had an air conditioning repair and maintenance man come to our home to do some routine checking of our units.  This is vitally important in Florida with our upcoming hot weather.  As he was going in and out of our home, my husband arrived and greeted him.  The maintenance man asked him how he was and my husband replied as he always does:  "Better than I deserve."
     Now my husband will be quick to tell you that this phrase was not something he came up with.  It was a common response given by one of our dear Christian brothers.  Every time someone would ask him how he was, he replied "Better than I deserve."  These few words said a lot and so impressed my husband that he acquired the habit of telling others the same thing.  It is definitely a conversation starter.  People wonder what on earth we mean when we say that.
     For the Christian, we know that salvation is a gift given by God through the pain and suffering of His only Son upon the cross.  Over and over the scripture makes it clear that God first loved us before we ever loved Him (1 John 4:19).  We also know that there is no righteousness or merit in us.  We are all sinners, and we deserve God's wrath (Romans 3:10).  Ephesians 2:1-9 tells us that we were dead in our sins, but it was Christ, not any works which we have done, who made us whole by His righteousness imputed to us. He took our sins and gave us His righteousness in a great transaction that we can never repay.
     Do we understand how simple the message is to share with others?  There is really nothing difficult about telling someone this news, and a simple conversation starter often does the trick.    Jesus was a master at telling parables in order to get people thinking.  We just make things too complicated at times.
     When the workman was ready to leave, he told me how my husband had responded to his question about how he was.  He said he thought about that phrase "Better than I deserve" all afternoon while he worked.  He said, "You know, he is right.  I am better than I deserve."  I then had a chance to tell him about our Christian friend who always replied in this fashion and how we really are better off because of God's great mercy and love towards us.
     Maybe you can use this phrase when others greet you and inquire as to how you are as well.  Some interesting opportunities are out there for us to share the Good News of our Savior.  We just need to keep our eyes open and be ready!  Selah!

Do you have any favorite ways of greeting people that can start conversations about the Lord?  I welcome your thoughts and insights.


Diana Lovegrove said...

I came across this phrase "Better than I deserve" when reading CJ Mahaney's The Cross-Centred Life. He also used it as a conversation opener. I was really struck by it, and prayed that I would be able to say it in response to someone asking me how I was one day. I had the opportunity in our local shop one day when the shopkeeper asked how I was. And yes, it gave me the opportunity to say how God had shown me mercy I did not deserve through the death of Christ! Thanks for the reminder again, I need to pray for more opportunities! God bless.

Barbara Thayer said...

Oh Diana what a wonderful testimony!!! So glad you shared this. Little things we say and do can make a difference and open doors. We all need to be looking for those little conversation starters! Blessings dear friend and thank you so much for sharing this story.

Christina said...

This is a REALLY wonderful post! I LOVE the response, "Much better than I deserve." How TRUE it is! And you know, it's much better than saying, "Hey, better for you asking!" which is what I always say when people ask me how I am! Ha ha!

May God bless the workman who visited your house with salvation and may He open up opportunities for us all to tell of the undeserved goodness that we have all received in Christ!

Much love to you my faithful sister in Christ!

Barbara Thayer said...

I agree with you in prayer Christina! I do pray that the man who was hear will not stop thinking about that phrase and what it means. So glad and humbled that we can be ambassadors for our Lord!