A Title about Entitlement

Entitlement.

I know you know that we all know we should shy away from that word. That we shouldn’t act/be entitled. That it’s a dirty word. It’s pejorative. You use that term when you want to insult someone.

 

But there is actually something worse (for me) than feeling entitled to something: Finding out you feel that way and act accordingly. In other words, it was bad when I felt entitled to certain things and that these feelings, of course, affected my actions.

Even worse, though, was finding out I am NOT entitled  to the things I clung to.

 

Like happiness. Or a clean house. Or friends who love me well. Or feeling like part of a family. Or being pursued well. Or looking the way i want to look as long as I try hard enough. Or acing a class just because i attend. Yeah, I do get those things and many others a lot of the time – but not because I earned or am guaranteed them. Just because God has so ordained the situation.

 

Now, I don’t know if this is an accurate perception, but let me try to summarize something from my understanding:

I am very blessed.

I get that i live a very blessed life. I think this is twofold: I think that one, I really do just get blessed left and right (and maybe in much more visible or out-loud or obvious-from-our-perception ways than most). I also think I pay attention. I look for blessings in the way that you might look at word search. You know the words are in there, so you look for them. That’s how I (try and often fail to) look for blessings in life. Some are backward or upside-down, but they are always in there. Every blessing I need for God’s glory and my good.

 

Generally, I don’t have much to worry about. Yes, relationships with people are crazy and there are a lot of people in my life, but when I make lists the “list of beautiful things” far outweighs the “list of the ugly things.”

 

But problems arise when I start looking at the list of beautiful things more like a “list of things that should always be this way and I’ll get ticked if they aren’t.”

 

 

There is a part of all of us that wants to be known and loved.

There is a part of all of us that wants our home to be a haven.

There is a part of all of us that wants someone to expend our energy for.

There is a part of all of us that wants to be taken care of.

 

Because that’s why we were made. So it’s okay that I want these things.

 

IT IS NOT OKAY when i don’t get them in the fashion I’d like (Because by God’s promise all of these things are always mine in Him, but they are not always mine in the way i want them), and so I pitch a fit about it.

 

A pitched fit doesn’t always look like a tantrum on the floor. Sometimes it looks like reading a novel and trying to block out the world. Sometimes it looks like cleaning your whole house spotless to avoid the fact that the problem isn’t in the baseboards, it’s in your heart. Sometimes it looks like being REALLY affectionate and caring towards others because you just want some human contact. Sometimes it looks like nothing at all, because “nothing” is what you’re filling your life with.

 

Sometimes it looks like praying, fasting, reading, and meditating…so that you can get what you want because you think that’s the answer.

 

Mostly, if you look hard enough, you can see that all of my “fits” look like me just not believing that my God rules the universe and always works ALL things out for me.

 

Do you have things you feel entitled to, that when you don’t get, really jack with you living as you were called to do? (Yes, you do.) What are they? What reframing of perspective do you need to encourage you?

 

I encourage you to listen to this week’s sermon from The Austin Stone Community Church.  The pastor does a great job illuminating how the things we are promised can help us fight the feelings of entitlement, but more importantly live in the freedom of the hope Jesus has secured for us.

 

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