Thankful vs. Entitled
I recall watching a group of protesters on TV bundled up against the cold weather in one of our major cities who were chanting loudly (and rather obnoxiously), seeking to make their point, change public opinion, influence policy – and get something from the government. What that was really doesn’t matter.
Their chant must have taken hundreds of hours to come up with:
WHAT DO WE WANT?! (Insert object of desire here.)
WHEN DO WE WANT IT?! (Shout it with me:) NOW!
That group of protesters started me thinking about an entitlement mentality. Dr. Richard Bayer says that, “A failure of responsibility produces the entitlement mentality.” An entitlement mentality says:
- I don’t have to work hard; I’ve been here a long time.
- I don’t have to move down the hall; I have seniority.
- I’m here therefore I am owed.
- Don’t worry about my job performance; you should be more concerned about him/her.
- If I have to work extra, what’s in it for me?
- Because I’m the child, that’s why!
An entitlement mentality is an ugly thing to see and hear. If it’s repugnant to me as a leader, employer and parent, how much more repugnant must it be to God when He hears it from me?
Consider the following in your fight against an entitlement mentality:
1. Don’t ever lose sight of what God is doing in your life, your church or your ministry.When we get more caught up in what God is doing somewhere else, or in someone else, it always leads us down to path of ungratefulness.
2. Ungratefulness for all that God has done will cause us to miss all that He wants to do.I heard a pastor once say that, and, boy, is it ever true! Ungratefulness breeds negativity; negativity breeds a lost sense of destiny. We give up. Yet God wants to do so much more than we can ask or imagine in and through us. An ungrateful spirit is an impediment causing us to miss God’s best.
Author Steve Maraboli states it so well when he writes, “The more I understand the mind and the human experience, the more I begin to suspect there is no such thing as unhappiness; there is only ungratefulness.”
3. Stop whining and remember all that God has done. Whining is ungratefulness outsourced. It’s best left to toddlers and celebrities. It’s unattractive and repellant to most everyone – except other whiners. It should be illegal for a leader to ever whine.
When tempted to succumb to a whining fit, sit down, take a deep breath, and review God’s work of grace in your life. That should cure you.
Am I overly critical of others? Do I look down on others?
Am I utilizing the word “deserve” frequently in my vocabulary?
Do I ever seek special treatment for myself? Does it happen often?
 Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience. A Better Today Publishing: Port Washington, New York, 2013.
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