Thanks and Giving
En-ti-tle-ment: noun. the feeling or belief that you deserve to be given something
I’ve been thinking about my attitude towards life. Do I feel like I am “owed” something from life? I think if I get to the heart of the matter, what I’m really asking is, “Do I think God owes me?” I know the right answer is “no”…but sometimes what my head knows as right doesn’t seep into my heart. Plain Truth: God owes me nothing.
Entitlement comes from the feeling that I DESERVE. Deserve means that I am worthy to receive. And I am not worthy. Jon Weece, in his sermon, “A Solid Blueprint,” makes the point that “The more gratitude I have the less entitlement I have.” He goes on to say that Christians need to remove from their vocabulary altogether the phrase, I deserve. “Because on our best day, we deserve hell.”
Hello, and welcome to my happy little blog today. Ha! But just stop with me for a moment and dig in, because this is so interesting to me…! He said the key to ending entitlement is gratitude. And how do we get to gratitude? We become more grateful when we realize our unworthiness. It is when we realize that we deserve NOTHING, that our hearts become thankful for EVERYTHING. Y’all. I want to be DONE with entitlement. In this season of giving thanks, I want to examine my weakness, because it is there that I see God’s grace. And grace is about getting what I don’t deserve.
So here we go. - I know people who didn’t make it to age 36. I am not promised any certain number of days. So you know what? Each birthday is a CELEBRATION. I GET to grow old! Some people never got that chance. What a gift each year is. - I have four daughters. I am not worthy to have children at all. And I got FOUR! I get to be their mom. I get to raise women of God in a country that allows women opportunity. Some countries set their baby girls on the side of the road. What a gift to raise daughters of the One True King.
- I have a house, car, bed, tons of food, hot shower, electricity, shoes, an education and after ALL of that, I still have something left over for my indulgences, like a new cozy throw blanket and a sweet peach tea. I mean, really?! I came across this viral video a church in North Carolina made for their sermon series. I love it. I laughed so much. And then I thought, “Ouch.” We have so many things to be thankful for. A quick side word. I have a sweet friend who recently spent time in Africa. She saw poverty and sickness and some of the worst human conditions. These were REAL people. She touched them. She looked into their eyes. She realized the two of them were the same. Needless to say, any “entitlement” she might have had was gone. We aren’t promised anything. When she got back to the States, though, guilt set in. Guilt over our excess. Guilt over our apathy. And understandably so. But guilt isn’t from God. Guilt is the enemy. Guilt makes us sink in the muck and spin our wheels and go nowhere or do nothing. When we examine our unworthiness, when we realize we deserve nothing, do not let it lead to guilt. Guilt gets you nowhere. You have been given GRACE. Trade your guilt for gratitude. Because guess what?! Gratitude gets you moving. I love this math equation, also from a Southland sermon, this time from Scott Nickell, titled “A Solid Framework”. Gratitude --- Entitlement ------------------------------------ Generosity When we are thankful, and we take away any feelings that we DESERVE what we have, or more, then the natural outcome is a generous heart. I want to be someone who shares. I want to be so grateful, that I can’t help but give it away. I saw this quote and I wrote it on my sign for this season: May our lives be full of both Thanks and Giving. Be Grateful. Extend Grace. Have both Thanks and Giving this Thanksgiving.