Entitlement and Our Responsibility

14 Mar

Entitlement – even though we all struggle with it at times, we all generally know it’s not the right attitude to have. The idea that as citizens we are entitled to any number of things from external government services, takes the focus away from our responsibility as Christians to serve our communities and those around us that are in need. I recently read a great post on Tim Challies’ blog on entitlement, which touched on the same idea. More and more these days society expects that teachers and other community professionals take on responsibilities that were never meant to be theirs to begin with. Where is this coming from? We can all probably list a million reasons why we struggle with this attitude at times, but I want to focus to two things. First, we are all prone to think we’re better than we really are, and this is the very thought that leads to feeling entitled to something more than what we deserve. I have families come into the office and the children often sit in front of their parents and make huge demands that they genuinely feel their parents owe them (cars, electronics, trips etc.). Many times they are there because the children have made some pretty big mistakes, and you would think that they would be hanging their heads in shame, but it’s quite the opposite. We all behave that way sometimes; sinners deserving nothing, yet expecting everything. Second, we live in a selfish society, and it’s hard to escape this mentality when we are surrounded by it. Unless we are constantly doing some Jonathan Edwards’ style self-examination, we can easily be sucked into this same entitled pattern of living, and not even realize it. Sure, children need to be taught more than the core subjects, people struggling financially need support, and people seeking help need to be helped. Whose responsibility is it to meet these needs? Let’s look to Christ as the ultimate example. We all know that Jesus spent so much of his time with the poor, the sick, and the vulnerable, ministering to them and meeting their spiritual, physical, and practical needs. So, this is a challenge to myself and anyone who would like to join me: I will make a conscious effort to step outside of myself, outside of my own needs, and work at getting to know people around me a little more in order to understand how I can better serve them. The struggle is that we live in a self-motivated and self-centred society, so how can I keep from getting trapped. Unless there is a conscious choice to die to myself and serve others daily, then I can easily begin to justify putting my own needs first and expecting that external resources help “the others” and me because after all, we deserve it – faulty thinking is easily perpetuated if not extinguished by a reality check. We all know very well what we truly deserve, and if it weren’t for Grace we would all be heading down that path. So with that in mind daily, I will try to not behave like a spoiled brat when things do not go my way, and instead support others in my church and in my community by giving my time and resources which God has blessed me with. We begin a destructive cycle when we don’t step up and take responsibility for that which is ours, and instead expect that government services take on the role that was originally meant to be ours.

“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies – in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever Amen.” 1 Peter 4: 10-11

Lessons from the Leafs

We can all stand to learn a few things from the Leafs, and as promised before, I won’t do this every time, but it seems fitting today. In my opinion, each team in the NHL has its own personality and plays with a certain style. Since today’s post is on entitlement, I’d like us to turn our thoughts to the Leafs and consider their hard work and motivation. At times, things go really well for them, and like any team they’ve had their rough patches as well. Despite being attacked by Gionta’s cheap shot to their star goalie who was then injured, and seems to have not been able to fully recover since the hit, they continue to press on with good attitudes and minds fixed on their main goal. With every difficult patch they’ve hit whether tough losing streaks, injuries, Burke failing to do everything in his power to get Nash, coaching changes, they do not stop working hard and fighting to move up the standings. This can’t be said for all teams (*cough Canucks cough*); some teams play with a sense of entitlement. They let the puck in the net once, and sticks start flying on the ice. A linesman or ref makes one bad call, and curse words start shooting out of their mouths (grow up Luongo, Bieksa, and Kesler and quit throwing temper tantrums during games cough*). Some teams play as though they deserve more, regardless of what they are willing to put forth. I’m thankful that we back a team that plays with integrity and is motivated to put in the hard work in order to achieve what they are looking for. In my heart, I still believe this might be the year, but whether it’s this year or next, it will come, and it will have been well worth the wait.

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3 Responses to “Entitlement and Our Responsibility”

  1. Julian March 14, 2012 at 11:04 AM #

    Gionta cheap shot, eh? Despite there being no penalty and no supplementary discipline? 😉 It’s okay… he’s been injured longer now than Reimer was anyway. Reimer will end up playing more games this year than Gionta.

    When you brought up the Leafs I thought you were going to mention the entitlement of the ownership/management who continue to expect people overpay for a lousy product decade after decade… (but the problem is that people do continue to overpay and fill the seats and pay for the TV station, etc.). So it ends up being less of entitlement of more of a cash-crop, I guess, eh? 🙂

    • amy March 14, 2012 at 11:27 AM #

      Julian, I can predict your comments from before I can even get my own thoughts out of my head. You can put a negative spin on fan loyalty if you want; it’s nothing I haven’t heard before:) Unfortunately, you and I will never be on the same page when it comes to this, because even if I slightly agree with some things you say, I’ll never admit it. I hope that one day you’ll wake up and realize that you support the wrong team:)

  2. Georgie March 14, 2012 at 12:03 PM #

    I am really going to enjoy this on going banter!

    great post Amy,

    Georgie

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