In our microwave, American culture, it is easy for us to become entitled to the things that others call luxuries. We think because we have access to “golden fancies” that we deserve them without any question or consultation. But has God truly called us to live in a in a stoop of hoardom simple because we feel entitled?
In the last article, we looked at a nation that was plagued by the disease of entitlement. God had literally fought their battles for them and yet they somehow found a way to express ingratitude for what they had been given (Numbers 11).
Before we point a pious finger, we must understand that there is an entitled attitude in all of us. Before we can apply the solution, we must first understand the DNA behind this selfish ambition. What are the evils of entitlement and the Christ-centered cure? Notice please:
Entitlement stems from ingratitude.
Ingratitude is the brother of entitlement. Its from this root, that we see the affects of this treacherous mentality that everything is owed to us simply because we exist. When we live entitled, we are in essence telling God that what He has chosen for us is not enough. Paul helps us with mentality in Philippians 4:11. He says,
“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, [therewith] to be content.”
Can we truly say that? That whatever state we are in, we are content?
Ingratitude will leave you with a sense of “I deserve” and gratitude will leave you saying “He deserves.”
Entitlement dismisses responsibility.
We see this much in American culture today. People relinquish themselves of responsibility for their failures, problems etc.
They blame their upbringing for where they are in life.
They blame their hurt for their failure to move forward.
Just because you have been wronged in the past, doesn’t mean you are entitled to a life of ease in the future. You can’t always use someone else’s mistreatment of you as an excuse to fulfill your God-given responsibilities.
The Bible teaches the importance of owning up to your responsibilities, regardless of what we think we deserve:
“Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour” (I Cor. 3:8).
“But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel” (I Tim. 5:8).
I love what one author suggested. He said to change “I deserve” statements to “I’m responsible for” statements.
Instead of “I deserve good paying job” say “I am responsible to work hard for a high paying job.”
Instead of “I deserve a new car” say “I am responsible to live within the means God has set for me.”
Don’t let the attitude of entitlement rob you of the blessings that come from obedience to God’s Word.
Entitlement promotes envy.
Entitlement sees others through greedy lenses. We have all been guilty. We see the Jones family across the street with a new car that we know they cant afford and something wells up inside of us. We start making slighted remarks about how they don’t deserve a new car because of the way they take care of their house or that we should be the one with a new car since we actually work hard for our money. I truly believe that a strong envy for the world is one of God’s greatest enemies.
“For jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance. He will not regard any ransom; neither will he rest content, though thou givest many gifts” (Proverbs 6:34-35).
The little pious conversations about other people we have in our heads, completely taints our view of the world and extinguishes any Christ-like compassion. Think about it. Look what envy does:
It destroys gratitude toward other people’s blessings. Envy makes it hard to be grateful for a brother or sister in Christ who has received a blessing from the Lord.
It destroys good thoughts towards others. Envy tears down encouraging words and exhortation.
It destroys good works to others. Envy keeps our hands from being th hands and feet of Jesus simply because we have convinced ourselves that others are not deserving.
The reality is we are all not deserving of God’s good gifts. Being jealous of someone else is like telling God He is not enough. This is the epidemy of entitlement.
For more on this subject, check out the next article...