Sunday, August 29, 2010

Entitlement? What's that?

Last week, in a bible study that I've been attending, we discussed the topic of tolerance and fairness. We mentioned that, as Christians, we can be tolerant of other religions and still maintain the belief that Jesus is the only way to God. The argument of, "that's not fair" was then brought to mind. At that point in the conversation, I kinda butted in and said, "grace isn't fair." As Christians it isn't fair that we get freedom from sin, it isn't fair that we have a way out of darkness. The Christian life as we know it isn't fair. What would be fair is that we would spend eternity separated from God due to our sin. But God in His mercy sent His Son to die on a cross so we didn't have to.

And yet...
Humans, even Christians, sometimes fall victim to the idea of entitlement. What do I mean by that? Well, what I mean by this is the feeling that says that because of something I've done or an attribute or characteristic that I have, I deserve or am entitled to a reward, item, object, or something else that is desirable.

Hear me on this: nothing could be further from the truth.

The food you eat: that's a gift.
Life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness may be written down as a right in The Declaration of Independence, but no, my friend, you are not entitled to it. It's a gift.
The job you have, as miserable or wonderful as it may be, is a gift.
Your family is a gift.
That iPod you saved up for is a gift.
The money you worked for is a gift. You worked for it, but it is not entitled to you. God owns it.
Your teachers or professors, they are gifts.
Your intelligence is a gift. (Don't waste it!)
Your significant other is not entitled to you. Sure, there's that marriage license, but he or she is a gift!
And one last one: The very breath you are breathing, the breath that gives you life, is a gift.

You see, friends, God demands payment for sin because He and sin don't go together. We are sinners. All have sinned and fallen short. In order for justice to be served, a payment had to be made and our lives were the price. But God, in His mercy, made the ultimate sacrifice by doing the unthinkable, sacrificing His son, in payment for us. But it did not end there for 3 days later Christ was risen and we have the privilege, not the right, to share in His resurrected life if we believe on the name that is above every other, the name of Jesus.

We can not and should not fool ourselves into thinking that we deserve something. Instead, we should lift our eyes to the heavens and thank God for the mercy and blessings He has shown.

We are entitled to nothing. We have been given more than we deserve. So instead of saying, "That's not fair." Let's change our attitude and say, "Thank you for what I've been given."

And when we live a life glorifying the God who gave it all, God rewards us with joy, peace, and true life.


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  2. This is really good. I can not imagine what you are not happy with. It is amazing how much better you have gotten in such a short amount of time. I know it doesn't seem like it, but it really has not taken you very long go from "kinda raw talent" to "really good artist." Now think about how much you have spent on classes and how much practice you have put in to get a picture you see good and bad in. If you would put in half that much into golf (classes or practice) you could find good in your golf game as well. Every round does not have to be a master piece. That is how golf and art are alike for me.