Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I often get arguments such as:
"If you believe that you made a decision for Christ, then you also must think you earned/merited your salvation!"
"You think you saved yourself!"
and my favorite,
"If it was you who endured, or even if you had anything to do with it, you would have something to boast of, and God would be robbed of having all the glory in eternity, etc..."

For those of you who subscribe to such ideas, I have written a bit of a silly poem to illustrate how this kind of thinking stands up to reality, told from the perspective of my life, enjoy.

My name is Joshua Caleb T.
in ruse I tell no lie
I write to say that through my choices
I've become quite a wonderful guy

Even when I was young,
as I surmised, the good in me was realized
my dear aunt gave to me great gifts
that I would earn them, she pre-recognized

One year amidst mistletoe and candle
I unwrapped more Star Wars than a kid could handle
so I took the gift that was proffered
and gave a merry thanks to her

Now I fail to grasp how some fail to see
how this meritorious act hath made much of me
For as any can see, unless hindered by blindness
that it was my receiving and not her kindness

I chose to accept it, (tis' required in receiving),
and since I made that choice, then it's merited by me
so t'was then myself that got me the gift that evening
so it's plain then how truly generous am I, not she

But there's more to be told
if I may make inference
that my life's been preserved
by my wise perseverance

In boot camp where I was a soldier made,
we would shout and shoot and promenade
in the latter weeks as required of all
I chanced to throw my first grenade

of the dangers present, I could write vast tomes
for I throw almost as well as I write poems
but to impede the shrapnel's merciless cavalcade
the Army had constructed a strong barricade

"Stay behind the wall," the drill sergeant said
"You could lose your life if you lose your head"
"Throw as far as you can, then duck in the cleft,"
"and do not stray to the right or the left"

So I lobbed the explosive with all the force I could muster
my success was unequaled -- except maybe by Custer
I waited in tension as some seconds passed
then the roughly made shelter absorbed one more blast

Now I hope you can follow the trail I'm on
that my own wit and cunning brought me safe from the bomb
If you credit the cover, be duly reminded
that it was me, not the wall, that stood behind it

And so I brag freely, of perseverance perfected
my wisdom, not the bricks, hath the shrapnel deflected
Sure I strayed once or twice from the correct area
but after only fifty pushups, I got the idea

So you see friends and neighbors, what I've done is substantial
the gift-giver and shield were mere circumstantial
But if you say "Tis' expected! That's nothing to boast!"
then I say quite objective, "You are wiser than most"

In Christ,