Not too long ago, a friend of mine reminded me about this post. Because I was reading it anyway, I thought I’d post it again.
Self-entitlement: The attitude that lurks just under my skin, ready to emerge whenever Iâ€™ve worked my rear-end off and think I deserve some sort of a pay-back. (Also, when I imagine that people are deliberately disregarding my time or work.) (Also, when I self-righteously call myself a â€œservantâ€, but expect to be treated like a â€œqueenâ€. I once heard a pastor say, â€œIf you want to be the servant of all, expect to be treated like it.â€ Who wants that?!)
Its appearance: Iâ€™ve noticed ugly self-entitlement in my own life when I demand a â€œbreakâ€ from the children, a mind-reading husband or a clean house (â€œI just cleaned this entry-way! Who left their shoes right in the middle of the floor?!â€).
Its symptoms: So, what begins as an ugly thought, becomes a silent-though-deadly sigh, which becomes a snippy comment (â€œI said, who left their shoes right in the middle of the floor?!â€), which becomes resentful behavior (shoving shoes into the closet), which becomes a sulky, mean, and demanding me.
Its friends: I find that when I am indulging self-entitlement, Iâ€™m simultaneously indulging discontentment, resentment, pride, selfishness, and independence. â€˜Must be what Paul was talking about when he wrote, â€œFor where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.â€ (James 3:16)
Its food: Somehow, self-entitlement seems to gobble away the lovely things in life like relational peace, service, contentment, and joy.
Its fault: It turns out that, even if I did work my rear-end off, picking up those shoes is yet another practical way that I can serve the shoe-owner who – let it be known – did not intentionally leave his shoes there just to make me mad, or to disrespect my hard work. Rather – now that I think about it – he worked just as hard as (harder than?) I did and happened to leave his shoes on the mat on one (very) ill-timed occasion. And chances are, he didnâ€™t have time to put them in the closet because he was rushing to relieve me of a whining child, a load of laundry, or a burning pot of beans, which made our house spell like cigarette smoke for days.
Its freedom: The way I see it, I am entitled to 2 stunning rights:
To love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength
To love my neighbor as myself. (Of course, these basically open a glorious storeroom of rights to me: the rights to serve others, love others, and to enjoy peace, kindness, and gladness to my heartâ€™s content.)
Beyond that, though, Iâ€™ve got no self-entitlements. None.
I am not entitled to sulk, complain, demand, destroy, or resent. If my husband needs to work an extra hour on Tuesday night, or leave his shoes in the doorway; if my child needs me to leave a friendâ€™s house early because she is strung-out from that 10 a.m. cupcake, or if she needs me to use that precious nap-time to plan healthier snacks for the week, bring it on. Let the thanksgiving commence! Let this woman say, â€œPraise the Lord! He has entitled me to love!â€
(Donâ€™t worry! The author of this text took plenty of feminist-theory classes in college and has read piles of books about a womanâ€™s rights, privileges, and expectations. She concludes that the feminist mentality doesnâ€™t hold a candle to the glories of living a feminine life of Christian service and sacrifice that glorifies God!)