To be entitled means believing oneself to be inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment.
Yes, as children of God we are given special blessings. We are favoured, loved and have an inheritance in God. But these things have nothing to do with what we inherently deserve. We inherently deserve condemnation. Blessing, which God promises us, has to do with what we have inherited (been given) from God, through Jesus. Viewing what we have as a gift from God, rather than something we have earnt, changes our hearts. We live grateful, humbled, and thankful, rather than entitled, proud and self-righteous.
In Romans 12:3, Paul says, ‘I would ask each of you to be emptied of self-promotion and not create a false image of your importance. Instead, honestly assess your worth by using your God-given faith as the standard of measurement, and then you will see your true value with an appropriate self-esteem’.
Paul isn’t telling us to think less of ourselves, he is urging us to see ourselves for who we really are – people who are saved and blessed by grace alone, and are continually in need of God! When we see ourselves in this light, who we really are, it is impossible to be full of pride and entitlement.
‘Millennials’ (of which I am one), have been handed many of the things the previous generation worked for their entire life. The character that previous generations built under dedication, commitment and resilience is missing in this generation, simply because we have been ‘gifted’, rather than growing under the sharpening experience of endurance. This is not always a bad thing, but there is a danger in that a sense of entitlement can creep in.
Christian entitlement is when we forget the price Jesus paid to gift us with something we will never have to pay for. When we forget how he endured for us, when we forget the source of our freedom, we live entitled.
Entitlement is ‘self-interest’ driven. On the contrary, the kingdom of God is ‘others’ focused. ‘Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves’ (Philippians 2:3). Why? Because we remember who was humbled for us.
Instead of seeing what you aren’t getting, focusing on what you should be getting, and complaining for not having what you believe you deserve, start thinking about others. What can you do for someone else? Focus on how you can be a blessing, rather than focusing on getting a blessing. Instead of being the first to get jealous, be the first to celebrate. Instead of being the first to complain, be the first to say a compliment. Instead of being the first to take, be the first to give!
A daily devotion for a better way of living.