Do not be arrogant, but tremble. For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. Romans 11:20-21
It’s so easy to take our salvation for granted and become arrogant. But this passage reminds us that it was because of others’ unbelief that we were given the opportunity to be included in God’s plans (verse 17). We are told, “do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches” (verse 18). Just because we have experienced God’s blessings in our lives doesn’t mean we can now take his continued blessings for granted. The religious people in Jesus’ day thought they knew God and his plans for their nation but things didn’t work out the way they expected. Likewise, we cannot assume we have God all worked out.
Paul describes our favoured position, “… and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root … consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you (verses 17-18).
We are privileged to “share in the nourishing sap,” but we aren’t the “root.” We aren’t the life-giving source, rather we’re the recipients of God’s undeserved favour. So the way to deal with our tendency to take God for granted is to develop a grateful attitude. Being thankful for God’s kindness and mercy helps us to keep our perspective. It’s not by our efforts that we have this position. We have merely responded to God’s invitation. We didn’t initiate God’s interest in us, neither have we done anything that would cause him to love us as he does. He is the “true vine” and we are the branches (John 15:1-5), so let’s be grateful people.