Beliefnet
Doing Life Together

business-15721_1920I was sitting in the car waiting for someone and listening to the radio. I heard several commercials in a row. What struck me was the number of times I heard the phrase, “You deserve…” According to advertisers, I deserve a lot—certain foods, cars, the purchase of services, a break, a vacation, personal wealth, etc.

I struggle with this concept of entitlement so heavily promoted in our culture. It has impacted the way we think about our relationships, deal with our finances and manage our emotional and spiritual lives.

When I am entitled, I begin to think people do not treat me fair or give me enough. Financially, I can end up in debt because I deserve to have the things I want. Emotionally and spiritually, I can live in anger, resentment and frustration because others are not responding to me in the ways I deserve. Just watch any reality TV show. The shows are filled with entitled people who complain about not getting every whim met.

This excessive self-focus and self-indulgence promoted daily leads to selfish and narcissistic people. We have kids who don’t respect others, marriages that end because one spouse feels entitled to a better life, and debt up to our eyeballs because we buy what we can’t afford.

I am entitled to nothing, but incredibly blessed. As a Christian, God chooses to love me and give me good things because it is His will to do so. His goodness towards me has nothing to do with me earning anything. He offers the gift of salvation through the gift of His Son. He justifies and redeems me and positions me as one of His. My efforts, money, status, etc. have nothing to do with any of His goodness towards me.

I don’t deserve a break today! But occasional I experience one. I don’t owe it to myself to purchase a particular item, but occasionally I can. My children don’t deserve to get everything they want, but occasionally they get some things. School children do not deserve to feel good regardless of their behavior.

Without the Holy Spirit operating in our lives, our tendency towards self-centeredness grows. We are to humble ourselves before the Lord and realize that without God, we are nothing.

 

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