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Entitlement

Entitlement

12 June 2010

Today’s Reading: 1 Kings 12; 2 Chronicles 10-11; Philippians 2

Scripture:

Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion. (Philippians 2:8 MSG)

I recently heard a man confess that one of the things he used to excuse himself when pursuing the practice of a sin was that he was working so hard and so effectively for God. “I deserve this little sin.” “God will make allowances.” In his heart he knew this was wrong, but he rationalized. A sense of entitlement will do that to a person. His “little sin that he felt entitled to” eventually led him to a serious moral failure that cost him his effectiveness in ministry and wounded his family, his church, and many who had been influenced by his ministry.

I can identify the seeds of an entitlement attitude in me. I sometimes find myself thinking, “I work really hard for God.” Or “I’ve made a lot of sacrifices for God so I’m sure he won’t mind this little lapse.”

If I don’t deal decisively and ruthlessly with the seeds of entitlement thinking, it will lead me down a path of destruction. What do you do when you find yourself feeling “entitled?” Let’s re-read Paul’s description of how Jesus dealt with entitlement thinking:

5 Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. 6 He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. 7 Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! 8 Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion. (Philippians 2:5-8 MSG)

Prayer:

Father, forgive me for entertaining the seeds of entitlement thinking. I purpose to think of myself the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. I claim no special privileges. Help me live what I believe. Amen.

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