“For you save a humble people, but the haughty eyes you bring down.” Psa. 18:27
One of the deadliest mindsets is that of entitlement. Entitlement ruins relationships with others, ruins your perspective on the world, and ultimately ruins your relationship with God. Someone who feels entitled has a deeply held belief that they deserve special treatment or privileges. They are immunized from being able to see the impact their decisions have on the lives of other people. The world becomes the mechanism through which they will demand what they deserve. Ultimately, their relationship with God is tainted because they have become their own gods.
Though we often think of those grandiose displays of entitlement, such as the spoiled teenager who demands a new car having wrecked his Tahoe, or the narcissistic boss who takes credit for others’ work, there is a more subtle form of entitlement that lingers in our hearts.
This one escapes from our lips when we bemoan, “Why me?”
This lament reveals our deeply held belief that we deserve special treatment. It acts as though the universe owes us something. It has falsely assumed that life has been manageable and in our control all along, and that any slight deviation from what we want is unfair.
The antidote for entitlement is gratitude. By recognizing that we deserve nothing, then everything we have becomes something we can be grateful for. A grateful heart does not ask, “Why me?” but begins by asking “why not me?” When we are able to find the fortunate in unfortunate situations, our hearts turn from entitlement towards gratitude.
In doing so, we can embrace what the world throws at us because we realize in the end God’s grace will conquer all. Grace means “getting what we do not deserve.” Therefore, it flows from an attitude of gratitude. We realize that we deserve nothing, yet God has granted us eternal life with Him.