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Friday, February 2, 2018

The great antidote to Entitlement

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

I honestly hate it when Millennials are attacked for being entitled. The simple fact is we’re living in an entitled world. None of us, no matter our age, is immune to feeling entitled.
Take me as a ‘for instance.’ One of my greatest epiphanies came as a result of reading John Townsend’s The Entitlement Cure. I had what Dr John calls a ‘pocket entitlement’ — it’s aligned with my personality. I’m a helper, so I like to be appreciated. When I’m not in a good place I can tend to feel I deserve appreciation. This is not good for me or anyone else for that matter.
I discovered that the word ‘deserve’ sits at the heart of entitlement. If we’re honest, we acknowledge we all have sacred areas of our lives where special rules of entitlement apply — idols of the heart where, when others transgress, it evokes anger within us. These are danger areas where sin lurks wanting to remain hidden, waiting to be defended, warranting protection. We protect idols to our eventual peril.
But I have found the long-term, sustainable cure to entitlement… Dr John talks a lot in his book about what are the by-products of this thing. And there are so many! Most of it could be summed up in the concept of taking responsibility, but there is something more hyper-relevant.
The great antidote to entitlement is gratitude.
It is impossible to deserve anything when we’re grateful.
The truth is, of course, that we deserve nothing. We actually deserve less than nothing. (Yes, of course, God knows we have needs and He provides.) But in our entitled age we don’t like to read that we deserve nothing.
So, let me finish on the positive:
The more we engage our spiritual muscles in gratitude, the less we will be bound by entitlement, and the more we will be a blessing to others. Diligent Christians are deeply grateful people.

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