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A Tale of Two Chairs

Posted in Decision-making, Overcoming difficulties, and Prayer

A few months ago, I decided to replace my dining room chairs.  I thought it would be a simple task.  I assure you it was not.

There were so many choices.  And yet, deep down inside I knew my family and friends just want good conversation, a delicious meal and a comfortable seat.   But I wanted more.  I wanted a statement that says my dining room is the place to be.

dining room chairsI finally made a decision.  I kept my decorative head chairs and purchased some brown leather side chairs (each pictured here).  However, the conflict continues.

These two styles of chairs reminded me of another chair dilemma.  It occurs over a lifetime but we live out our choice moment by moment.  It is the choice between the seat of entitlement and the throne of grace.

From where I sit (pun fully intended) it should be an easy choice.  Sometimes it is not.

“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” – Hebrews 4:16 NIV

The seat of entitlement offers my preferences.  It allows me to focus on what I think is due to me or what I think someone else is due.   On the other hand, the throne of grace offers me mercy.  It allows me to focus on what God has already done for me and for others through Christ.

From where you sit, which one are you drawn to the most; the seat of entitlement or the throne of grace?  Before you answer, consider this:

This tale of two chairs is really the tale of a torn heart.  Can you feel the tension beating within you?  I can.  Sometimes it’s a subtle rhythm but other times it is an all-out rebellion.

To be clear, the throne of grace is the place we need to be.  As the name implies, it is the Seat of Divine Authority where we are given undeserved access.  It is God’s throne.  It is symbolic of His Sovereign rule and a welcome sign to all who need His help.  That would certainly be me.

However, the battle is for whether or not I’ll seek His help.  Although His invitation is gracious, there are rebellious grumblings within me.  If I listen closely, and it’s hard not to, pride, hurt, anger and fear prompt me to sit in the seat of entitlement.  It’s difficult to resist the padding of possibility that I am in control.

I admit it is cushy at first; but it is costly to stay there.  When things don’t go as I plan — and they seldom do — this seat feels far from cozy.  Its padding becomes prickly with guilt, self-pity and bitterness.  From where I sit, the seat of entitlement is painfully exhausting.

And yet, Hebrews 4:16 invites us to come boldly before the throne of grace.  It may seem costly at first but Jesus paid for us to stay there (see Hebrews 4:12-15).  We can bring our guilt, self-pity and bitterness and become free by Christ’s power.  It is where we seek the will of God and His peace abides.  From where I sit, my soul can rest before His throne.

The seat of entitlement offers fast access to my selfish desires, but the throne of grace offers far more than I deserve. 

A tale of two chairs box1

However, when our heart is torn between these two chairs, here’s some good news:  What may seem like a tough place to sit now can become a testimony later.  The path is paved by submitting our wants to God as an act of worship. Then our heart is no longer torn; it is mended by His mercy and love.

I know the pain of sitting in the wrong seat instead of bowing in the best place.  But thankfully, I’ve also learned to bring my grumblings to God and depend on His grace.  Then my tale of two chairs turns into the testimony about One.  It is all for the glory of God, the One who gives hope to the heart and joy to the soul.

“So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”- Hebrews 4:16 NLT


  1. Oh Joy, how I know this struggle. Thank you for writing on this. I am not entitled in the least. It is all grace. Every breath, each day. Thank you, Jesus! Beautiful post. “Then my two chairs turns into the testimony about One.” Yes, Amen. May this be our hearts each day.

    January 12, 2016
    • Joy

      Thanks for stopping by Abby and thanks for your transparency. I’m glad this post spoke to your heart. May we continue to grow and rest before the throne of grace.

      January 12, 2016
  2. This is awesome. There was a time when I would always pick the throne of entitlement. But now? Give me the throne of grace every day!

    January 12, 2016
    • Joy

      “The throne of grace every day” for sure Christy! That seat of entitlement is nothing but trouble.

      January 12, 2016

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