There is a magical phrase that anyone can say to themselves which in their own mind convinces them that the action they are about to do is completely permissible and justifiable. A saying so lofty yet so down-to-Earth. So universal and relatable:
“I deserve it.”
It’s not designed for a person who is about to commit a major crime or infidelity. Instead, it’s the password we use right before we commit those little Sanity Nourishments like Starbuck’s, a purchase at Best Buy, and randomly eating out on a weekday when he have a perfectly good, ready to be cooked meal at home.
This behavior was made obvious to me last week when on two different occasions (once at church and once at work) someone brought in two boxes of superb donuts. Not the boring Krispy Kreme’s with no cream as the name implies. Instead they were the donut equivalent to a big box of Whitman’s Samplers chocolates.
Here is what I have learned from eating donuts: One more is never enough. The only stopping point for me is nausea. If it’s possible to sin simply by eating donuts, I stand on grounds of being ex-communicated.
And the way I get myself into that situation every time… “I deserve it.”
What does that even mean? I deserve it? How? What did I do to give myself such credibility?
Since it’s something pretty much everyone tells themselves from time to time, evidently the qualifications to say “I deserve this” are by simply staying alive and managing not to murder anyone.