It is not very often that I actually hear anyone, especially a Christian, voice the idea that "God owes me" something. It is, conversely, very rare that I find anyone who doesn't believe it's true. They believe that God owes them something or other even if they would never say it.
A non-Christian friend asked me the other day about a "theological dilemma" that was nagging at him. "Isn't it true," he asked me, "that the Bible has lots of places where God destroyed lots of people? You know, like Noah's Flood or Sodom and Gomorrah or the killing of the Amalekites. If it is true that we aren't supposed to kill and God does it, doesn't that make Him evil?" The root of this question is "God owes me." In this case, "God owes me life." The objection is similar when people complain about the concept of Hell -- eternal torment. "God owes me mercy at least." When someone loses a loved one it is "God owed me that loved one." When they get cancer or something dreadful, "God owes me good health." No, no one ever voices that. No one says it out loud. Almost no one. But it's there ... always there.
We tend to get things turned around in our thinking. We think that God owes us ... well ... a lot. Because we're just that valuable, just that important. After all, aren't we made in God's image?
What we fail to grasp is that we are His creation, not His masters. He owes nothing to the things He makes. Just in principle. But we've managed to make it worse. We have all sinned and transgressed the glory of God (Rom 3:23). We are not innocent bystanders. When Paul said we "fall short of the glory of God", he is saying we reflect poorly on our Maker. We diminish His glory.
It is assumed by so very many that Christ died to save us because He ought to have done it. We wrestle, in fact, with the notion that not all are saved. Paul wrestled with the opposite question. Not, "Why doesn't God save more if not everyone?" like so many of us, but "Why does God save one?" Paul understood us to be "vessels of wrath prepared for destruction" and God rightly intending to show His power and wrath on us (Rom 9:22). That is what God owes us. The amazing thing is not that more are not saved, but that any are saved. Because God owes us nothing.
If we grasp this, then suddenly anything God gives is a gift, a glorious act of grace, a radical kindness. If we lose our sense of entitlement, we gain a vast sense of gratitude. But our sense of entitlement is the basic problem -- worshiping the creature rather than the Creator (Rom 1:25). That is what is at stake here. Should we cling tightly to our falsely perceived "rights" -- our confidence that "God owes me" -- or should we admit our guilt and our fallenness and our inflated sense of importance and our idolatry and throw ourselves on His mercy, on His Providence? One comes to damnation, the other to extreme gratitude. You make the call.