Fresh Manna© by Pastor Tim Burt
Psalm 54:4 (NIV) “Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.”
God calls Himself our “Heavenly Father.” If you have children, you can remember back to your newborn(s) and how absolutely dependent they were upon you for everything. That reality hit Renee and I the first day we brought home Stephanie from the hospital. Nothing and I mean nothing ever weaned me from selfishness like this realization and working to live up to it. Renee and I had to help her with every last thing for a season. In time she grew to do little things for herself. It was our assignment to help her grow up learning to take care of herself as well as make good decisions for her life. This was a slow but wonderful course of helping her grow from infancy to adulthood.
We taught her to grow independent in her ability to live her life on her own, but never independent of God. This meant that over the years, things we did for her, she had to learn to do for herself. This included making provision for herself.
Yesterday, in beginning to talk about entitlement behavior and attitudes, I said that entitlement was defined in the dictionary: to give (a person or thing) a title, right, or claim to something; furnish with grounds for laying claim. Entitlement behavior issues step from children who have not been taught to do things for themselves, who have not been taught to accept responsibility for their actions, and who have not been taught and given the chance to make and act upon their own decisions.
When children are totally taken care of without ever being taught responsibility and mentored to learn to do things for themselves, the healthy entitlement that they did have a right to when they were infants and small children becomes and an unhealthy entitlement of leaning on their parents or others far beyond the time that they should. Smothering, controlling, and micro-managing children can inhibit their maturity toward independence and create a dysfunctional sense of entitlement. They become used to someone doing everything for them. They become used to provision always being there with question. They may become used to someone else making every decision for them. They may grow to behave like the world and everyone in it owes them and should take care of them. Of course no spouse, no company, no person can live up to those expectations and so they will grow up to feel the world has failed them. Blame will be their game.
The flip side of this could also be disastrous. Give children total independence from a young age without guidance and boundaries and you will also create a dysfunctional child that has learned to run wild and who at some point becomes unmanageable. Proverbs 29:15 says, “To discipline and reprimand a child produces wisdom, but a mother is disgraced by an undisciplined child.” I have seen a great many parents throw up their hands in frustration, disgust, and hopelessness over the child they allowed to run over everyone through their parenting style of indifference, apathy, or fear of making mistakes or fear of their children’s rejection from not liking discipline. They will become the parent of the child described in Proverbs 19:26 (NLT) “Children who mistreat their father or chase away their mother are a public disgrace and an embarrassment.”
Kids don’t like discipline but they will get over it. They won’t die. They’ll just act like they will. Proverbs 23:13 says, “Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die.” This verse does refer to spanking. If you chose to use this style of training for a short season, learn how and have zero tolerance for yourself doing it out of anger or inappropriately. If you don’t like spanking, it’s going to take more work, but I suggest watching “Super Nanny” as it’s one of the best helps to parents I’ve ever seen. You can learn to discipline your children in a right way. She is a masterful mentor.
Mentoring your children and teaching them how to live and make decisions and do for themselves is God’s way. Teaching them to put their faith in God as they learn to make life decisions and live their life, helps them to live a life of independence yet not from God or His help. This is best case scenario – especially when they have a sincere and deep faith that God would actually love and care and desire to help them in their lives. This couldn’t possibly happen unless they did have an understanding that they have a degree of entitlement with God.
God does want us to grow up to be independent enough to learn to make our way though life but without ever being independent of Him. He wants us always to walk in the revelation of Jesus’ words of John 15:15 “…without me you can do nothing.” He entitles us to be dependent upon Him. He teaches us to have that kind of entitlement mentality in our faith. Not that He is a magician or a genie, but that He is the true and living God who cares for and will help us in every aspect of our life. He wants us to have that sense of entitlement as a part of our faith. We see this in Hebrews 13:5-6 “…”Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” And today’s Fresh Manna verse Psalm 54:4 (NIV) “Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.
As Christians we are entitled to a partnership with God. Can you imagine being in life and business partnership with anyone better? Will see more of God’s partnership with His children tomorrow…
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2007 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.