Weeds of Entitlement

March 30, 2011

Faith, General Life

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I have a confession…

I’ve been subtly buying into the very lie that I often speak out against when invited to share my journey with various audiences—the lie that we are somehow entitled to certain things in life.

When I share, I often address the prevailing belief of our culture that incorrectly expresses how each of us deserves more, that all the best of this world somehow rightfully belongs to us, and how every good thing should be ours.   This attitude of entitlement has been scattered like seeds into multiple aspects of our lives, sowing a message that ultimately reaps discontentment and ingratitude.

In losing Judson I became intimately familiar with the reality that everything we have, right down to our very breath, is a gift.  We deserve nothing.  We have no rightful claim to anything.  And we are entitled to zilch in this life.  It was as if the lies of entitlement, and all their destructive power, were hauntingly exposed to me.

But…over time, these same lies cleverly took new shape in my life and began to subtly infiltrate my thoughts again.  Deceitful spores of entitlement started to take root in new form; ironically, this time they were cunningly disguised as “promises” from God that often sprung from the words of faith-filled people, “After all you have endured, because you trusted God, you can expect God to shower you with blessings now.”

And he has.

But I confess that I’ve wanted more.

Truth be told, I basically began to expect comfort and ease after the suffering we endured — unwittingly buying into the lie once again that this is what I deserve—that somehow because of our journey things should be better, life should be easier, my circumstances should improve.  I’ve been disgruntled when faced with new challenges and struggles over the last three years, unrelated to Judson.  They’ve left me frustrated, discontent and ungrateful, exposing the weeds of entitlement planted in my heart once more.

God wants to bless his children, no doubt, but we are not entitled to blessings, no matter how much a person has endured. Everything is a gift!  Nothing is deserved!  To expect more, to long for more that what we have, is to miss the gift, and is ultimately destructive to our relationship with the Giver.

These weeds in my heart need to be uprooted and destroyed once again.  For until they are dug up, I will never be able to live fully and peacefully in whatever circumstances I am called to face today or in my future.  Like the apostle Paul, I pray I might “learn the secret of being content in any and every situation” (Philippians 4:12).

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How have the lies of entitlement taken root in your life?

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