Nov 24, 2019 • Written by Judy Episcopo
A Thankful Heart in an Entitled World
As I get older I find that I battle a sense of entitlement. Entitlement that says, “I have worked hard all my life. I deserve to take it easy and let others deal with it.”
But you don’t have to be older to feel entitled.
“I make so much more money, therefore I should have the respect of my peers.”
“I arrived here first, so I should have first pick.”
“I deserve an apology. I have my rights!”
Yes, there is a bit of truth in our entitlement. We may deserve the respect we’ve worked for, but entitlement is often used as a power play. It can make us proud, demanding, and selfish. It ultimately ends in cynicism and bitterness when we don’t get what we think we are entitled to and high expectations are not met.
Are you struggling with cynicism? Bitterness? Anger? Perhaps it is an issue of entitlement.
According to God’s Word, we ALL, every single one of us, deserve death (Romans 3:23 and 6:23). Do we really want what we deserve? God is willing to give us BETTER than we deserve. He is willing to pay the consequences of our failures and mistakes by dying on the cross and purchasing forgiveness we do not deserve (Romans 6:23).
What should our response be?
The opposite of entitlement is a thankful heart.
In the letter to the Roman Christians, Paul explained the spiritual conditions of societies where morality and civility break-down. In Romans 1:21 Paul writes, “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him.”
Gordon MacDonald in his book, “The Resilient Life” points out two issues that mark a decadent society according to Paul: an unwillingness to acknowledge their Creator and a sense of entitlement.
MacDonald says, “Thankfulness is a learned transaction, and it comes with the realization that I neither deserve nor am entitled to blessings. At best, I am a graced recipient of all I have and am.”
The Bible says we are to “give thanks always” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). This is truly possible when we believe God is both good and sovereign in our lives.
Some may say we are being overly naive in trying to be thankful in any and all circumstances. It is much easier to be cynical, bitter, and fearful than it is to cultivate a thankful heart. However, I like to think thankfulness is the more heroic way to live.
Find ways to be thankful. Celebrate. Happy Thanksgiving everyday.