Instinctively, I view myself the opposite way. "God really got a great thing when He saved me." Or more subtly, "The Lord has graced me with some special gifts and talents that have really benefited the Kingdom."
What a conceit.
I lie in a desert, naked and sick, blind and crippled, powerless to rise and better my situation. I cling to the cactus of this world, convinced there is no superior way. I don't find love. No, Love travels, searches and calls to me. And when He finds me, I catch my first glimpse of beauty, grace and hope. I see Jesus.
Enraptured by His magnificence, yet caught in the sewer-pipe ideology of my world, I reason that I must give something to purchase my freedom. Such liberty at no cost would be too good to be true. But I have nothing to offer. "Don't aggravate my misery by dangling unattainable peace before my eyes!"
But that's just it. Jesus loves me not for what I offer. Not for the new program I can create to feed millions. Nor for the prettiest voice in the college chorale. Jesus loves me because it's His nature. He loves me simply because I am.
That's the beauty of the cross.
"We must abide in Christ to experience the successful Christian life. When we lean on our own intellect and abilities, we navigate impassable waters. Only when we acknowledge we're finite, fallen and unable to accomplish even the simplest task apart from God and His grace will we be ready to experience the fullness of joy available in this life."