SATURDAY, JUNE 25, 2011
“Entitlement OR Gratitude?”
Definition of Entitlement: “Having a right to something”; “belief that one is deserving of or entitled to certain privileges.”
Definition of a Gift: “A thing freely & willingly given without payment in return.”
As Americans we commonly hear about freedom and rights. We speak of them loosely, and I assume we’re all grateful for them. But, as I really listen to people talk about these freedoms and rights, I begin to hear a common attitude of entitlement and I find it enlightening that our rights often contradict our freedom and trap us.
Here’s a few examples:
Freedom of speech, yet the right to remain silent.
Freedom of life, yet the right to end the life of an unborn child.
Freedom to marry whomever we want, yet the right to divorce.
Freedom to pursue dreams, yet the right to reject anothers.
Freedom to listen, yet the right to ignore.
Freedom to love, yet the right to fight.
There’s a back door in our “freedom’s”, with “RIGHTS” as our EXIT sign. I get it, though. It really just depends on which side we sit on. If we want to speak, then we claim freedom. If we want silence, then we claim rights. But it’s a trap if you’re not on the right side. If, for example, you are the one who wants to talk, yet someone else wants silence, how ever will there be freedom?
Being an American, I live the logic of this everyday and even take part in it.
But being a Christian, I am handed a different set of lenses, in which to see, and I am held responsible to respond as a child of God.
Here’s the difference….
I have the freedom to speak, but are my words edifying?
I have the right to silence, but am I being honest?
I have the freedom to live, but am I living for me or God?
I have the right to choose, but whose life is it?
I have the freedom to marry who I want, but is it who God wants for me?
I have the right to divorce, but is it biblically justifiable?
I have the freedom to pursue my dreams, but is it rooted in selfish ambition?
I have the right to reject others dreams, but am I being prideful or envious?
I have freedom to listen, but am I really caring about what I hear?
I have the right to ignore, but am I hurting someone else by doing so?
I have the freedom to love, but am I trying to be loved first?
I have the right to fight, but am I fighting for what’s right?
I guess what it boils down to is our sense of entitlement or our gratitude. Most of us believe we are entitled or deserving of something. But do we really have the right to say what our rights are or what we deserve or don’t deserve?
As a child of God, I’ve chosen to surrender my life (rights & all) and let God be my Lord and Savior. I believe that He can do a much better job with my life than I ever could (Ephesians 3:20 “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us”). Because of this, I handed over my rights to Him…with no backdoor. He is in the driver’s seat and I trust Him, completely. Everything I am and have is because of God’s love, mercy and grace, (John 15:5 “apart from Him I can do nothing”).
The real freedom that only He offers, is truly a GIFT, in which I am eternally grateful. Dare I say I deserve it?