Saturday, July 14, 2012


“You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For you created all things, and they exist because you created what you pleased.” 
-Revelation 4:11

As imperfect human beings, many times we cling to entitlements.  We feel entitled to a paycheck because we have worked a day’s wages.  We feel entitled to good healthcare because we pay for our insurance each month.  We feel entitled to a good meal because we gave a restaurant our business.  The list goes on.  This self-entitlement can even carry over to our relationship with Christ.  Because our life on earth is constantly measured by this give and take mentality and the idea that if you work for something, you are due your reward, we can even begin to feel like God owes us something.  

I have fought this attitude in my own life.  When my husband and I gave up all of our possessions in America and moved to Italy with only a few suitcases each to serve the Lord as missionaries, I began to notice this sinful self-entitlement I had developed.  Because we had given up everything to be missionaries, I began to feel like God SHOULD bless us.  I mean, it was only fair.  We were moving away from all of our stuff and all of our family and friends to serve Him overseas, so the fair thing would be for God to pour out His blessings upon us.  But, I did not see that happen.  We suffered through learning a language, my mother had to have emergency quadruple by-pass surgery, and I was diagnosed with a disease that would require surgery, to name a few of the battles we faced during our year in Italy.

During these battles, God began to show me that He does not owe us anything.  Even if I were to give up my life for Him (as many of our Christian brothers and sisters have had to do), He owes me nothing.  He is God, and I am simply His servant.  By clinging to these entitlements, I am moving the focus off of God and on to me and my problems. 

In the book of Job, we see a successful, God-fearing man get everything ripped away from Him.  He loses his family, his cattle, and he is even covered with sores on his body.  In Job 31, Job starts to list all of his accomplishments.  He talks about how he has never looked upon another woman lustfully, how he has always helped the poor, has not lied, has not been unfair to his servants, etc.  He wants to know why God would have him go through all of these trials: “If only someone would listen to me.  Look I will sign my name to my defense.  Let the Almighty answer me.  Let my accuser  write out the charges against me” (Job 31:35).  

After Job presents his lists of accomplishments, God answers Him:

 “Who is this that questions my wisdom
    with such ignorant words?
 Brace yourself like a man,
    because I have some questions for you,
    and you must answer them.
 “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?
    Tell me, if you know so much.
 Who determined its dimensions
    and stretched out the surveying line?
 What supports its foundations,
    and who laid its cornerstone
 as the morning stars sang together
    and all the angels shouted for joy? (Job 38:2-7)

God continues asking Job questions to help him realize his futility.  Job quickly sees that he is wrong to think that God owes him anything:

 Then Job replied to the Lord,
 “I am nothing—how could I ever find the answers?
    I will cover my mouth with my hand.
 I have said too much already.
    I have nothing more to say” (Job 40:3-5).

Job had to endure a lot more hardship than I have ever had to endure, so I can only imagine the self-entitlement I would develop if I went through his battles.  But, it does serve as a great reminder to all of us that as we go through trials and tribulations, we should not allow our mindset to be that of self-entitlement.  God does not owe us anything.  He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and I am simply His servant.  At the same time, by getting rid of my false entitlement, I will be a better servant because I will take the focus off of myself and put the focus where it should be: on Jesus Christ. 

“When a servant comes in from plowing or taking care of sheep, does his master say, ‘Come in and eat with me’?  No, he says, ‘Prepare my meal, put on your apron, and serve me while I eat. Then you can eat later.’  And does the master thank the servant for doing what he was told to do? Of course not.  In the same way, when you obey me you should say, ‘We are unworthy servants who have simply done our duty.’” (Luke 17:7-10).

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for providing such an inspirational blog. Sometimes we must be reminded of our blessings as well as those around us who are less fortunate.