Entitlement says "I deserve something. I am qualified for a privilege. I have the right and I must have it."
We all get into this situation sometimes. There are many ways in which we find ourselves fighting for what we believe we should have. In the airplane one might say, "I am entitled to that little leg room under your chair! So please take your bag out of my space!" A child may say to his parents, "How come I don't have an iPhone? You are being unfair to me!" I believe that entitlement opens the door to mediocrity and shuts the way to understanding and reason. When we begin to claim for a privilege, we narrow down our focus and lose track of other opportunities. That prerogative, when given enough emphasis, eventually overwhelms our ability to reason.
Jonah (Read Jonah Chapter 4) for example, believed that he is entitled to the shade from the vine, forgetting that he did not have any thing to do with its existence. When the worm ate the leaves, he got upset because all of a sudden he was exposed to unfavorable heat.
But the LORD said, "You have been concerned about this vine, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. But Nineveh has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well. Should I not be concerned about that great city?"
Today a mother upset by a 30-minute change in schedule to accommodate a group piano practice was very angry. Obviously her son did not let her know about it. The mother did not plan and was not prepared for this change so she questioned and yelled at the teacher and could not be appeased. She was determined to insist on who-knows-what - that she was not going to listen to any explanation. The thirty-minute change in schedule was enough reason for her to ruin her relationship with her son's teacher. Right there and then she was setting a not-so-dignified witness to her child and the rest of the students who were watching.
"Never let your sense of morals get in the way of doing what's right." ~ Isaac Asimov
Many times we are like Jonah - we put our own agenda on top of everything because we think that we deserve all the success, comfort, good treatment, and blessings of this world. Think again and evaluate "the heart" in relation to the things that we desire to have and do. It could be that in the pursuit and protection of whatever we want we harden our shells and prevent our chance to grow outward. It could be that we are willing to give up the other beautiful things just because of something we know we deserve. We miss our chance to choose what is right because we are too busy fighting for the right way things should be done. How many times have I seen this happen? Beware! (especially me). God wants us to be beautiful and loving people. He wants us to flourish...yet when we have enclosed ourselves with a hardened shell, He may need to break us in order for a new life to begin in us.
The bible says, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul and with all your mind. Love your neighbor as you love yourself." If we follow this commandments then what is the essence of entitlement? Null.
Father, help me to remember that my relationship with you is far more valuable than anything that I can get entitled to.. Help me to choose you at all times.
Born and raised in the Philippines. Attended University of the Philippines and University of Reading, England. Now residing in California with husband and three children - enjoying a God-dependent life.