The young secretary made some final scribbles in her notebook as she headed for her car. She had been instructed by her boss to meet a young man at a nearby restaurant and conduct an extensive interview. Her boss was looking for a sharp, educated man to fill a vacancy in his firm and he was willing to pay high dollar to get the right guy.
“The resume seems to fit just right!” she told the young man as they both sat down to dinner.
After she had gone through her normal preliminaries, she noticed something strange. Halfway through the interview she firmly closed her notebook, took a deep breathe, and assured the young man that the interview was over.
“But I thought this was supposed to be an hour-long interview. We have only been here for twenty minutes,” the young man stated with a confused expression.
“Sir,” the secretary began, “you have been on your cell phone the entire time we have been seated!”
They both got up from their seats and parted ways to their vehicles. The story doesn’t end there. A few hours later, the young man’s parents gave the secretary a call. They begin to tell her about all the wonderful things they were going to miss out on because they didn’t hire their “precious sweetheart.”
I think this story serves the attitude of entitlement on a silver platter. Many people live in the reality that they are owed something in this world, and it has and will continue to ruin those who accept it’s principles.
“Entitlement is the belief that we inherently deserve privileges or special treatments, or that we have the right to something.” We may say things like:
“I work hard. Don’t I deserve a high paying job?”
“I deserve to buy a nice car for myself. I’ve been good with my finances for a long time.”
“I deserve a nice house because my parents have a nice house.”
“I work so hard to provide for my family. I deserve to do what I want when I come home.”
“I’ve worked hard today; I deserve a treat.”
The reality is that we don’t truly deserve anything. All that we have is gift from God.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17).
The children of Israel struggled with the attitude of entitlement as well.
“And the mixt multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat? We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick: But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes” (Numbers 11:4-6).
Think about it. Israel had just been delivered from years of slavery and bondage in Egypt. They owned nothing. To Egypt, they were worth nothing. And yet the desperation of their entitlement to drove them to ingratitude for what God had given them. I mean come on; leeks, onions and garlic! These not my first choices at the dinner table!
I think there is a valuable lesson to be learned here. We can become entitled to even the smallest and the most meaningless things. Just because we have run the race well, it doesn’t mean that we deserve prize. God has challenged my heart in recent days to live unentitled to the things of the world. God is helping to live in the reality that I don’t deserve what I have, and I certainly don’t need everything that I want.
Ask yourself, “Am I entitled?” Do I truly deserve something simply because I think I do?