Why Christianity and Entitlement Can't Co-Exist | What Does God Owe You?

Friday, May 18, 2018

Are you living with an attitude of entitlement? As Christians, we have to understand that God doesn't owe us anything. Christianity and entitlement can't co-exist- learn why today on The Peculiar Treasure.

I've been noticing a trend for a while now. A trend in which people feel that they are entitled to whatever they want, as soon as they want it, and without working for it. This trend rears it's ugly head in many ways. We feel entitled to respect from others, often without giving respect in return. We feel entitled to our pay check, our benefits, and to getting a raise, even when we know we are only doing the bare-minimum amount of work. And worse-yet? We feel that we have the right to live our lives without being offended by others.

How did we get here? How did we get to this embarrassing state of entitlement that encourages whining, laziness, anger, and disrespect? It's mind-blowing when I look around me. I quickly discover that very few people are willing to take responsibility for their own actions, yet they are more than willing to tell others to take responsibility for theirs. Very few people are willing to listen to opinions they don't agree with, yet they demand to be heard when they are spouting their own ideas.

Entitlement makes the world a terrible place. It makes us angsty and angry; it makes us difficult people to get along with.
But friends, there are even bigger problems with these entitled assumptions we tend to hold. These problems, as Christians, should make us immediately recoil from attitudes of entitlement in a drastically counter-cultural way. It should make us take a very good look at our causes, soap-boxes, and daily mindset, and it should push us to reform anything within us that leans towards selfishness and entitlement.

If you are worried that you may be living life in selfishness or entitlement, you aren't alone. I struggle with it everyday. But the thing is, we have to recognize it to be able to fight it off. So whether you know you need to improve, aren't sure, or feel like you're good on this topic, this post is for everyone. We all need to check our hearts from time-to-time, and today on TPT, we are diving in to see why Christianity and entitlement can't mix, and how we should be living instead.


Hard Work Is Biblical 

The idea that things should just be handed to us by employers, family members, or even the government is just not Biblical. Scripture is clear that we should work hard and earn what we have (2 Thess. 3:6-10). Scripture is also clear that we are all equal in God's eyes (Gal. 3:28). He doesn't see race, gender, job titles, etc. When God looks at us (for those who know him) he sees people covered in the blood and righteousness of Jesus, and called to live a higher life.

This life we are called to live is an invitation to be selfless, to put others before ourselves, to do all that we can to be at peace with those around us, while still speaking and living the truth of the gospel- which is in it's very nature offensive. We are called to boast in nothing except for Christ, and to be "quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry" (James 1:19). None of these Christ-like traits leave any room for entitlement and all that it breeds.

We Can't Grow If We Refuse to Be Offended

These days, everyone seems to think that it's their right to not be offended. But honestly, that's ridiculous.

We all have a right to share our thoughts and speak freely. Are all thoughts equally true and good? Of course not. But we still have the right to express our thoughts and feelings. And just as I said above, as Christians, we are called to be slow to speak, quick to listen, and slow to become angry (James 1:19). But it's inevitable that when we take the time to listen to others, we will occasionally become offended by their words. In those moments, it's important to remember that we are not entitled to never hearing offensive things. In fact, when we become offended, we can often learn a lot from it.

Whether we learn something new about ourselves, are confronted with a new worldview we've never encountered before, or whether we simply have an opportunity to learn to handle conflict in a more Christlike manner, being offended could actually help grow us as people. So, instead of feeling like we are entitled to be shielded from every offense that comes at us, let's remember to reject those entitled feelings and find a way to grow instead.

James 1:19-20 | Be slow to anger and quick to listen. Reject an attitude of entitlement. Live selflessly. | #bible #Christianity #faith

Life Isn't About Us

When it comes down to it, life isn't about you and me. Life is about Jesus. Life is about loving him, living for him, and being his hands and feet. In fact, in order to be the peculiar treasures he created us to be, we need to learn to be the exact opposite of entitled. We need to be selfless to others, for God's glory, just as He gave Himself for us.

Entitlement says that we matter more than the people around us. It says we deserve better than what God has chosen to provide, and that our idea of "the plan" is better than the plan that God has set into motion.

Simply put, life isn't about us, but if we give into an attitude of entitlement, we will start believing selfish ideas about life, which are totally opposed to the truths of Christianity.

We Are Made for a Missional Mindset

Finally, one enormous reason that Christianity and entitlement cannot coexist is because we can't live missionally while simultaneously being self-absorbed. If we are focused on our own desires, feelings, and frustrations, we will not be attentive to the spiritual, physical, and emotional needs of those around us. Being oblivious to such things sets us up for failure when it comes to helping others and sharing Christ with them.

Christianity says "put Jesus first" and "put others above ourselves". Christianity calls us to selflessness. But when we allow entitlement to take over our thoughts and our hearts, we give into our own selfish nature instead. We can't do both at the same time. If we are really keeping our eyes on Jesus and really living to share Him with the world, we will not be dwelling obsessively over what has gone wrong in our own lives. But if we are living with an entitled attitude, we will be too caught up in our own issues to take notice of the hurting world around us, and we will fail to commune as fully with God as we could otherwise.

So, let's all band together as a people who reject entitlement, whining, and inward focus, and let us live for God and give of ourselves selflessly instead.



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