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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

What is "entitlement", Alex?

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If ya'll watch Jeopardy, then you'll understand the reference of the title. Otherwise, where have you been for the last 100 years?? Just kidding, maybe, but seriously...
 
Anyways, let's jump to today's fun fun topic:
 
 
 
For the last several years, the word "entitlement" has made its debut in many conversations. I've heard adults (including myself) state that teenagers and kids these days have an attitude of entitlement. Other conversations I've overheard talk about Americans being entitled to certain things like freedom, peace, and liberty. How about this one:
 
Some Christians act entitled... And not in a good way.
 
Ouch, right? What if I told you I actually agree with that statement wholeheartedly. In fact, I'm going to take this a step further. What if I told you this: I think the Church (as in body of Christ, not building) is comprised of some (please notice I didn't say ALL) entitled Christians who haven't quite figured out that this whole "being a Christ-follower aka Christian" thing isn't all about you. Nope. In fact, it's about God. I know, shocker.
 
Let's look at the definition of entitlement really quickly, just so I know we're all on the same page here:
 
Entitlement (n):
the fact of having a right to something; the amount to which a person has a right; the belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment.
 
That last definition is the one I'm going to hone in on in the most loving way possible, and yet will probably upset a few people. Ehh, such is life. Your entitled attitude upsets me, but I still love ya. We can agree to disagree right?
 
Since becoming relatively (read: slam-packed crazy) busy in the field of ministry and specifically within church walls, I have found that there are those that have a rather difficult time to change simply because they feel entitled. I get it: Change can be really scary; it can be overwhelming; and most importantly, change can cause you to lose your sense of identity.
 
Allow me to throw a bone at ya'll. If you find your identity in your church (brick and mortar), thus can't handle the good change happening in the church (brick and mortar) because you're entitled to that church (brick and mortar), then I have to raise these questions - are you really part of the Church (body of Christ) and is your heart in the right place? See, here's the thing guys: If we have fully submitted our lives, hearts, and souls to the glory of God through His Son dying on the cross, then that new identity should've taken over when you accepted Jesus as your one and only Savior. The saying "out with the old, in with the new" is pretty relevant here.
 
So friends, please understand what I'm saying here: If you are finding your identity in your church (brick and mortar), and the new youth leaders' Jesus-freak-always-wanting-to-serve-others attitude weirds you out, that looks like it might be a heart issue and you need to seek God in prayer. Like, yesterday dude. If my energy levels for teenagers, my passion for mission work, and the steps I take to bring outsiders in, actually concerns you then all I have to say is GREAT! Because here's the thing: You're no more entitled to the church (brick and mortar) than I am. In fact, if you've been a long time member, a dedicated Sunday school-and-church-service goer, Wednesday night bible study doer, and that's all you are and all you want to do... then you're missing out on a key, huge part of God's commandment to us -
 
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit
-Matthew 28:19
 
So friends, if you do find your identity in the church (brick and mortar), and you feel entitled to that church and "own" the right to decide who comes in and out, then you're missing out. You're missing out on life, love, and all that God has to offer to you and others. As for me, I have found my identity in Christ. Not in the church I attend, not in the clothes I wear, not in the people I surround myself with. It's in Christ alone and that, my friends, makes me ENTITLED to all that He has to offer me to be able to share with others! I'll leave you with this: If Christ came to die for our sins, what makes you think you can decide who can experience that grace and love?
 
Selfish entitlement, it's really not all that cute. Selfless entitlement? Now we're talkin'.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

3 comments:

  1. I love your honesty. It's so beautiful! It reminds me of a little over two years ago when our church decided to leave a building that we OWNED to become a "portable" church. We had a lot of people leave the church (well, leave ours) because they couldn't handle the change and took it out on our pastor. What's crazy is were reaching more people now in a hotel every Sunday than we ever did in our old building! Thanks for this post today girl!

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  2. BOOM!!! Tell em!! I know exactly what you mean, and I am so happy to have found a church that shares my belief in who should be "allowed" in and out (ahem, anyone Jesus would allow aka literally everyone). Entitlement is a boon, it comes up in my job (public education) allllllll the time. It's a tough topic to tackle!

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  3. I love how direct and to the point you are in this post. I am not a member yet of my church (as we had just moved here last year and just found this church on Easter) but one thing I do love about our experience is that idea that everyone is there to experience God and to give him praise and most importantly, share in His grace. The key word being ‘share.’ It’s unfortunate to run across people who feel entitled to their church, because you’re right, at the end of the day if you’re feeling entitled it leads to pride and there’s a reason it’s sinful.

    And like Lindsay (who commented here) I also worked in public education and the reason I left my school was because of entitlement and favoritism. It’s a nasty thing and makes others feel unwelcome. I wish this was something people discussed more. Thanks for sharing!

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