“Entitlement” is defined by the internet (and dictionaries) as: the belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment.
This word can be used to describe a host of things, the entitlement we have to rights as an American, you could say we’re entitled to breathing. Basic components of everyday life are things we feel entitled to at times. Although there are basic things in life which we can tell ourselves we are entitled to, other privileges in life can turn our eyes from what is necessary to what is…unnecessary.
As I have observed the world around me, I’ve noticed something: Americans in general, and the area in which I dwell specifically has a cancerous entitlement issue. In the United States, we’ve always had these “personal rights,” as a privilege. The line between what a right is and what is not has become far less black and white and more gray. Americans feel like they deserve things they don’t.
In my North Texas world, the entitlement issue is extremely present. In a mostly wealthy area, people, (mostly kids) have received anything they’ve ever wanted. Receiving anything you want is dangerous. Extended time getting what you want makes you forget what it’s like not to get what you want. In the Entitlement Mindset, you fall apart when you don’t get what you want. Maybe not drastically, but maybe mentally. Not getting what we want bothers us, some more than others.
The thing is, we have no business feeling entitled to anything. Actually there is one thing we are entitled to: death on a cross. The one thing we truly deserve is death. But praise God, “for while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) Why do we feel like we should get whatever we want at all times? Our mouths say we follow Jesus, but our actions say we love ourselves. In John 14:23-24, Jesus says, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching… 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.” Are we willing to give up what we want? Are we willing to love others? Sacrifice for others? Are we willing to be obedient to Jesus to the point at which we are willing to surrender all and die? (Luke:9:23)
As Christians, we are called not to a selfish life of entitlement, whether that is conscious or unconscious. We must constantly examine our lives so that we are constantly filled with humility. Our brokenness is not simply a fact, but also a state of mind. We must know our position. All, of course, for the Glory of God.