Because I’m Entitled!

Because I'm Entitled!“You covet but do not possess. You kill and envy but you cannot obtain; you fight and wage war. You do not possess because you do not ask. You ask but do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.” –James 4:2-3

We read a lot these days about entitlement, about those self-centered narcissist that think of themselves as the center of the universe. Millennials are often depicted as the entitlement generation and their baby boomer parents are to blame. But, entitlement stretches across several generations. We Baby Boomers and Gen Xers can be just as guilty. We have all experienced self-centered entitled narcissists. If the universe doesn’t meet every need and desire then all hell breaks loose.

More and more people are worried about the sense of entitlement that has crept into their homes, families and neighborhoods.

What are the signs and symptoms of entitlement? How can we know if our children, spouses or siblings or we ourselves are guilty of a sense of entitlement?

  1. We live in an angry world. If things don’t go our way we feel like there has to be someone to blame. Road rage, cop killings and rioting fans react with anger if things don’t go their way.

“Know this, my dear brothers: everyone should be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath, for the wrath of a man does not accomplish the righteousness of God.” –James 1:19-20

  1. If there is something that they want and don’t get, then they are resentful. They never appreciate what they have but resent every desire that isn’t fulfilled. And, they resent anyone who gets in my way.
  2. A sense of entitlement will make people cynical about everything. We have a generation of cynics, with a negative jaded opinion on every subject.
  3. The narcissistic person not only wants everything they desire but they want it now! They become impatient having to wait for anything.
  4. Entitlement and gratitude are opposites. Instead of being grateful for what they have an entitled person feels ingratitude for what they want and don’t yet have.

Do you recognize any of these emotions in your family and friends? Or, are you guilty of any of these emotions yourself?

Then, what are we, as Christians, to do to overcome these emotions?

We need to control our anger. If we knew what was going on with the person in the other car or ahead of us at the checkout, or blocking the sidewalk, we might be more forgiving. We need to put the needs of others ahead of our own.

“Fools give vent to all their anger; but the wise, biding their time, control it” — Proverbs 29:11

We need to put life into perspective. Young people often what right now what their parents worked a lifetime to achieve. That beautiful home came after 25 years of hard work. It’s wonderful to have goals in life, but they rarely happen until we have put in the time and effort to achieve them.

We need patience. We need to understand that sometimes we must delay gratification until a later time. We might want to win the championship, but we have to keep in mind that life is a marathon and not a sprint and there will be setbacks. If we are patient gratification it is so much sweeter.

We need to be grateful. When we have a realistic view of the big picture, we can really be grateful for what we have. If we can’t appreciate what we already have, then how can we ever appreciate what we desire once we get it?

Don’t let entitlement creep into your lives or the lives of your loved ones. Only through self-awareness can we find hope and optimism. Forgiveness, patience, perspective and gratitude are the antidote to cure an entitled generation.

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