On a recent trip, an HGTV show featured a couple who identified themselves as Christians. They were looking for a starter home and only houses with modern, top-of-the-line features would do. They called everything else "disgusting."
I thought about how excited my husband and I were with our first home, an older single-wide mobile home in a crowded trailer park.
And I wondered if this HGTV couple realized that homes they called "disgusting" were dream homes for most of the world.
Unfortunately, there are times I also have a sense of entitlement(2) like this young couple, thinking I deserve something I don't.
And a sense of entitlement is not only a poor witness; it's a sign of shallow faith. Ouch!
The cure: strong doses of God's Truth, remembering what we truly deserve is death and nothing more. Period. But the undeserved gift of God is eternal life (Romans 6:23).
(1) Home and Garden Television
(2) Sense of Entitlement - An unrealistic, unmerited or inappropriate expectation of favorable living conditions and favorable treatment at the hands of others (source).
Here's some passages that will help cure a sense of entitlement:
If we feel entitled to material blessings:
from the parable of the sower, Luke 8:14: The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature.
Luke 12:15: Then [Jesus] said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
If we feel entitled to special treatment by others:
Philippians 2:3-8: Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. 5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!
If we feel entitled to smooth sailing in life:
2 Corinthians 6:3-4: We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, and no one will find fault with our ministry. 4 In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind.
Please go through the study before reading the insights.
- The thorns in the parable of the sower may be the greatest hindrance to the growth of God's Word in people's lives.
- Luke 12:15--in the verses following this passage, Christ shares a parable found only in Luke. It talks about a man who stores up all his riches only to die before he can enjoy them. The parable ends with this important warning: “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.” I have pondered what it means to be rich toward God, and I encourage you to do the same.
- Philippians 2:3-8--Christ gave up what He truly deserved--to be treated like God--in order to help us. What an example!
- 2 Corinthians 6:3-4--All we need to do is read about the lives of the Bible heroes or modern missionaries to realize that we do not deserve an easy life.
All Scripture NIV unless otherwise noted