Deserving a Championship?

Published on June 23, 2016 | By
The Cleveland Cavaliers are taking over the city today with their championship parade. Their fans have been hoping and waiting for this moment for a long time. Considering their city’s difficult sports history, they probably appreciate their team’s accomplishment more than most fans do. Their sports pain and championship drought have been well documented.  I admit, years ago I loved the idea of LeBron returning to Cleveland and believed that bringing a championship to his home state would be one of the greatest sports stories in a long time. The fact that it actually happened is pretty surreal. However, as happy as I am for my Cleveland buddies who have stuck by their team all these years, I just can’t buy into the idea that “the city of Cleveland deserves this.” Don’t get me wrong, the Cavs are a worthy champion and Cleveland sports fans are as loyal as any, but as a fan of another city (Charlotte) I’m not convinced they are more entitled to a Championship. I could make the case that my 20+ years of sports fandom has seen just as much heartache and loss, so at what point does Charlotte “deserve” a Championship? I don’t want to sound like a hater, because I am pumped for Cleveland, but I do push back on the notion they are owed this experience. We, too, can have a similar mentality that we are entitled to certain luxuries because of where we’re from, who we are, or what we do. We can think we’ve earned the right to particular opportunities or rewards, especially after having a tough day, a challenging season of life, or faced difficult situations. But honestly, do we really deserve anything? Ultimately, entitlement can be linked back to our faith. Do we believe everything we have is a gift from God and because of His grace we partake in His goodness and blessing? Or do we think we are so awesome that God should give us even more than He does? Does our prayer life consist of whining about something we think we have a right to? And do we get mad at God when things don’t go our way because we think we deserve favor? I think the more we understand who God is and appreciate how deep His love and grace are, the less entitled we will feel. We will recognize what a mess we are and how much we need Jesus...not deserve Jesus. Truly, because of our sin we deserve death, but the Bible says in Ephesians 2:8-9 (ESV), “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Cleveland’s championship is a gift to their fans…something they will continue to appreciate, but never really deserve. Similarly, let’s remember to appreciate what Jesus has done for us and the grace we’ve been shown, but never buy into the lie that we’ve done anything to deserve it. I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that! PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I’m blown away by Your goodness toward me and I acknowledge that everything I have or experience is a gift from You. Please help me not to act spoiled or entitled, or ever think that I’ve done something to deserve Your grace. I’m a mess in need of a Savior. Thank you for Jesus. In His name I pray, Amen.


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