I wish I could say that this post wasn’t about me. I would really rather focus on my children as they were what triggered the thought and realization at all. However, that would be unfair to them and unreal to those of you who will read this.
Tonight at the dinner table, I battled with my children about eating their food. There was nothing wrong with the food that was placed before them. They just didn’t WANT it. Ugh. Entitlement. They felt entitled to what they wanted rather than what they were given. It’s dry season here in Gororka, Papua New Guinea. There are families all around us and friends we know who don’t have food because it hasn’t rained on their gardens. Not to mention, they don’t have drinking water because again, it hasn’t rained. My children don’t realize the privilege it is to have food at all.
Now, me? My entitlement battle was different. I felt entitled to grateful children. After all, my children had a mother and dad who were eating the SAME food. We talked about how important it is to BE grateful for what we’ve been given and shared some of the hard realities of those around us. We were doing the ‘right’ things to evoke the emotion of gratitude, NOT grumbling, or so we thought. We were entitled to attitudes we wanted rather than what we were given. We forgot the privilege it is to parent at all. Sigh.
Tomorrow, I have a choice. I can either dig my heels in and fight surface battles of frustration and irritation with my children’s attitudes, OR I can start fighting my OWN feelings of entitlement. My aim is to choose the latter. Please pray for me. I would love to have you join me in this battle.
I think at the heart of it though there is more going on than just attitudes. God is trying to get my attention and work out flaws in my character that aren’t like His.
After all, the Lord of the UNIVERSE, came down in bodily flesh as Jesus Christ. I mean, this is serious. Didn’t He DESERVE a royal welcome after leaving heaven to come down to earth? Didn’t He DESERVE some gratitude from those He came to save? Deserve it or not, that is NOT what He got. In fact, the people He came to save put Him on a cross and killed Him.
Philippians 2:5-8 captures it well, saying,
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Oh, Lord, help ME learn THIS type of humility! Help me fight entitlement by keeping Jesus in the forefront of my mind and heart. I need your supernatural help and strength to fight the battle…In Your Precious Name I pray, AMEN.