I have entitlement issues. I’ve been that way for most of my life. In certain situations I feel like I should be right, no matter what the circumstances or the surroundings. After all, the world revolves around me, right?
I remember one specific time when our family was leaving the house and I asked which car we would be taking and then hurriedly went to sit in the front seat of our 1985 burnt orange Chevy Cavalier wagon (which later became my first car). As our family came out of the house they all got in the other car. I threw a fit. I was entitled to that front seat, I had gone through the proper channels and I was not moving.
Even though I wasn’t moving, they were, and the other car and left me. Eventually I got out of the car, tried to get in the front door, and ended up sitting on the porch swing unsure of how long I would be there alone. I pouted and cried and finally after about 10 hours (or maybe 10 minutes) my family came back and I gladly climbed into the car with them.
My entitlement taught me a valuable lesson in putting others first, in sacrificially serving, and in making sure that I lived like Jesus said “Look not only to your own needs, but also the needs of others.”
At least one would hope that it taught me that lesson.
I have dealt with entitlement issues my entire life. Even today there are times when I find myself entitled to certain perks and rewards. I think that I am special, different, and sometimes even better. I find it when I walk into restaurants and complain that someone was seated before me, or when I pull my car out in front of someone because I think they should let me go first. I find it in my attitude toward people that look different than I do and in the way I avoid people because I don’t want to talk to them. Who am I to dare to think of myself that way?
My family went out to eat the other day and I observed a man blatantly live out his own entitlement. As we ate our meal I watched him complain, demand and make sure that the restaurant staff new he was there and he wanted served. At one point a vacuum was running and he put his hands over his ears to share his displeasure. He griped complained and made sure that he got the vacuum shut off so that he could eat his meal.
The older I get the more convinced I am that we point out flaws in others that we see in ourselves. As we left that restaurant I found myself flabbergasted by the man’s actions, I even complained about them to Robyn baffled at how a grown man could act like a child.
Then I realized that I do those same things in different ways all the time. I pray that God works that out of me. I pray that He works entitlement issues out of all of us.
As believers there is no room for us to live with entitlement. There is no clause that says we can put it on when the traffic is moving slow and we are in a hurry. Our lives are to be lived in such a way that the world sees our love and not our entitlement. We will have little witness in a world looking for character flaws if we live with entitlement on our sleeve.
What are some things that you feel entitled to?