Wednesday, June 26, 2013

When I Feel Like I Deserve ___________

Last week I stood on my soapbox, preaching on the war we must wage in our homes against entitlement. It's a battle that requires continual attention and constant work. If we hope to raise humble, grateful, count-your-many-blessings children, then we have to be proactive; we must have a plan; and we need direction. 

Why? Because this world we live in does not extol self-denial

Yet, as Christians, we are called by Christ to do that very thing if we intend to follow Him.

This week I want to share where all this starts:

with ME

My attitude, my heart, my priorities, my thoughts & actions

If I hope, in any way, to correct the assumption my children have that the world owes them something, then I must begin by addressing my own entitlement issues.

If I hope, in any way, to raise children who love Christ and desire to follow Him, then I must begin by modeling what "deny himself and take up his cross and follow me" means.

Yesterday, my kids would not calm down during nap time. The oldest wanted to read more books, the middle child kept complaining about her bottom hurting (not sure what's going on there), and the baby just wouldn't settle. And I desperately needed wanted quiet time. 

In my mind, I honestly believed I deserved for them to nap so I could get some much needed rest myself. When my kids weren't compliant, I turned into the Incredible Hulk, and, boy, was it ugly. 

In my mind I thought: "This is my time. It's not fair. I deserve a break. I've been fixing food, wiping bottoms, cleaning, and mothering all morning, and I need this." 

Satan was feeding me a pack of lies that I swallowed hook, line, and sinker.

So what did I do?

I started acting like my own toddler when she doesn't get her way: I threw a full-blown temper tantrum, complete with yelling (something I've really been working on not doing), dishing out "consequences," and making threats. Not only was I being selfish, but in the moment, I felt completely justified. Afterwards, though, I felt horrible. I knew I'd messed up big time.

When we expect or believe we are entitled to something--whether it's peace & quiet, a raise, an at-a-boy for a job well done, or to go first at the intersection--we stop following Jesus and start following self. Self-denial is thrown completely out the window.

If we claim to be Jesus' disciples, we must stop acting entitled. 

We have to quit this attitude of "I deserve better." 

We must give up all notion of "me" and surrender all to Christ, knowing He alone has the power to save. 

For me, that means I need to stop thinking I'm entitled to the following:
  • Quiet time
  • That new book
  • To take a break 
  • A nicer car 
  • A vacation (even a staycation)
  • A bigger home
  • More stylish clothes
  • Children who listen & obey the first time
  • More money 
  • To go first

I don't deserve quiet time. I'm not entitled to a vacation or a bigger house or more stylish clothes. Don't get me wrong: there's nothing wrong with any of those things in and of themselves. It's how we view them. 

Do we see these things as something we have earned, deserve, are entitled to OR as gifts from the Father of the heavenly lights (James 1:17)?

This life has been given to me. It's a gift. I haven't earned it. I don't deserve it. I need reminding over and over again--just like my small children--that I'm a mess without God.

When I surrender EVERYTHING, I see that God gives me even more than I could comprehend. When I realize that the quiet time I want is not something I need but a gift, then I can rest in Him who knows my needs and who gives His children good gifts (Matthew 7:11).

Surrender is a daily discipline. It requires giving up what we want for the good of others. And that's hard because by nature we are selfish creatures

What things do you believe you're entitled to? How do you deal with your own issues of entitlement? 

Next week I will post on some ways we can deal with issues of entitlement in ourselves.

Praying God's wisdom for each of us as we strive to be His disciples here on Earth,

Previous posts on entitlement:
Battling Entitlement in Our Homes 

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  1. Yes, I've been there too. I caught myself feeling like that yesterday as a matter of fact. Whenever I do, I tell myself what my pastor always say's, "The only thing we deserve is hell." It puts things in perspective quickly. That's what helps me. :)

    1. I think you're right: we need a perspective shift when we feel entitled. I don't deserve ____. I deserve God's wrath. Thank you, God, for NOT giving me what I deserve!

  2. I havent read the previous post yet, but will go back and do it for sure. I am the exact same; I get angry when baby wont take her nap and I feel like I deserve the time.
    I cant wait for the next post!

  3. STOP convicting me, Keri! ;) Thanks.

  4. I love you honesty and openness, great words to reflect on. Oh the trap of entitlement....

  5. What a great post! So convicting and I think something that we all struggle with from time to time...if not daily! (my hand is way up in the air!!) I have been working on painting and such around our home and each time I start on a project the kids starting bickering or worse. I feel that ugly entitlement monster well up in me in those moments for sure. Thank you for the biblical encouragement to put it into right perspective.