by Pastor Tim Burt
Over the 38 plus years I have been in ministry, I have met a number of people who have expressed that God and life are unfair. They’ve desired and expected great things in their life. That’s a good thing! It’s good to have dreams and positive expectations. But, I’ve noticed that many people just expect things to be given to them. They expect the government, organizations, family members, or other individuals to take care of them.
Some medical assistance programs exist for children that were born with disabilities. They are to be an aid to them and their parents who struggle with difficult and ongoing life choices. Some programs from government and non-profit organizations aid people with food and housing that are simply trying to help them survive during trying circumstances. They are all good and a part of what makes our society compassionate, loving, and caring. Many of the people driving and helping with these programs are very compassionate and often secret heroes devoting their lives to the selfless service of helping others. God knows who they are! All of this in its out-working is God’s grace reaching through people to help people.
This kind of help to those in sincere need is wonderful. What is bad is when we have people who abuse the good will of government or compassionate organizations, or even their place of employment because of having an entitlement attitude. There are those that expect their government, employers, loved ones, and even absolute strangers they reach out to on social media to fill their pockets with money, resources and benefits. The expectation of entitlement that people carry today is appalling and wrong.
Entitlement is defined in the dictionary: to give (a person or thing) a title, right, or claim to something; furnish with grounds for laying claim. An example of this might be someone who is paying social security through their job all their working life. They are entitled to the benefits laid out when their time to retire comes.
What they might get one year but not be entitled to, is a benefit that pays for their eye glasses and examinations. That might be a benefit one year but lost because of the expense of the program the next year. An “entitlement mentality” puts demands on what they are not entitled to, If they don’t get it, it too often leads to a poor attitude and an inadequate or zero work effort while calling for and expecting more and more. People’s attitudes turn into entitlement behaviors that can cause serious problems if they do not recognize them and mature out of them.
The Bible does not teach entitlement. It teaches us to work hard and be thankful for what is given. The Apostle Paul says it completely and perfectly in 2 Thes. 3:6-12 (NLT) “And now, dear brothers and sisters, we give you this command with the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ: Stay away from any Christian who lives in idleness and doesn’t follow the tradition of hard work we gave you. For you know that you ought to follow our example. We were never lazy when we were with you. We never accepted food from anyone without paying for it. We worked hard day and night so that we would not be a burden to any of you. It wasn’t that we didn’t have the right to ask you to feed us, but we wanted to give you an example to follow. Even while we were with you, we gave you this rule: “Whoever does not work should not eat.” Yet we hear that some of you are living idle lives, refusing to work and wasting time meddling in other people’s business. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we appeal to such people—no, we command them: Settle down and get to work. Earn your own living.”
The Lord through His Word is very clear on what we are entitled to. We are entitled to work hard with a good attitude. Proverbs 10:4 NIV says, “Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth.” Proverbs 13:4 NLT says, “Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper.” God expects we treat our efforts in working as though we were working directly for Him. Colossians 3:22 instructs us, “Servants, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord.“
When you read about entitlement attitudes, it’s easy to think of others not relating it to yourself. Do you have an entitlement attitude in area of your life? Let a self-examination ultimately result in you being thankful for everything God has provided for you and thankful to the people used of God who’ve helped you succeed. Beyond that, don’t have an entitlement attitude toward man or God. People that work hard and faithful are generally promoted and given a raise. Some people simply want governments or people to pay for their college, healthcare, and housing with an entitlement attitude. I promise you that this kind of attitude will always sink your ship! God wants us to work. Work hard and be diligent with a good attitude to those you serve. And don’t look to your boss or anyone as your source. God is your source! And He cares for you! When your job does not supply all your needs, ask God for supernatural provision while leading you into a better place of work! Ask God in faith in everything being confident that He loves you and desires to help you with everything in your life. It’s the truth!
Proverbs 13:4 ESV, “The souls of the sluggard craves and gets nothing while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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