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.
This week I want to share where all this starts:
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.
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.
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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