End-Titled

Every one of us has some entitlement. It’s part of the blessing/curse of living in America. A land of plenty. The tough thing is that it’s incredibly difficult to see in oneself. It’s easy to see in others, but very few people have the insight to see how entitlement has crept into their life.

Entitlement is ultimately the belief that someone else is responsible for my happiness.

When the boss, parent, friend, movie, politician, pastor, spouse etc doesn’t cater to a person’s happiness all hell breaks loose.

Entitlement leads to a victim mentality.

It’s the lie that you are a victim of your circumstances. It’s why people leave one job in search of a better one and still don’t find happiness. It’s why people would rather leave a spouse for another only to find out that every person comes with their own unique issues.

Entitlement believes the problem in life is not you, it’s them.

If you are not happy it’s not your fault it’s your jobs.

Your spouse.

Your singleness.

Your family.

Your income.

Your church.

Your kids.

Your _____ aren’t the reasons you are unhappy.

People have found happiness with the very things you often complain about.

More than anything else in life your attitude will impact your circumstances.

Your attitude determines your destination.

Happiness isn’t handed out. It’s found.

Often happiness is missed because of entitlement.

Entitlement finds a way to complain about paradise.

The other night my wife and I were at our wits end with our kids and dinner. My wife made an amazing soup and salad for us. She knew it would be a stretch for our kids so she also made a corn dog. The deal was they had to eat a few bites of soup, but then they could enjoy the corn dog if they truly didn’t like the soup.

You want to know what happened?

My kids decided to mutiny.

You want to know what the ultimate problem was?

They were scared of eating the corn dog.

I did not see that one coming.

Apparently they have never had corn dogs. They like hot dogs. They like pancakes. A corn dog is essentially a hot dog wrapped in a pancake on a stick. It’s glorious.

Not in their mind.

It was torture.

Dinner became a battle of the wills.

The parents won. Still, one of the twins left saying, “You are so mean.” What in the world?!!! This twin came back and ate what was for dinner, but it took a timeout. Dinner became a battle.

But it shouldn’t have been a battle. My wife went out of her way to make sure they would be happy at dinner and they still found a way to complain. Dirty rotten sinners. I still love them.

The next morning I had the twins help me pick out a Christmas present for the child we sponsor through Compassion International. We were looking through the options in the magazine Compassion provides. It showed a picture of the food some of the kids eat. My kids immediately responded, “Ew…they have to eat that?”

It’s hard for them to wrap their minds around just how privileged they are. I tried to turn it into a lesson. I am hoping they were able to reflect on how blessed they were. But ultimately they will have to choose for themselves. Do they want to enjoy life or believe the lie that happiness is handed to them?

One of the best ways I know to battle the entitlement that plagues us all is to practice gratitude.

We often wait to pray until there is a need. That alone is entitled. Only talking to God when we need something is not a relationship.

Instead put into practice thanking God every day for what you have.

It will help push the entitlement out of you.

If you are married your spouse isn’t perfect, but entitlement will cause you to focus on the one way he/she doesn’t make you happy and ignore the 10 ways he/she does.

If you are single your attitude will determine if you waste your single years by focusing on what you don’t have or by utilizing what you do.

In everything there is some imperfection. Find the good and focus on that. No person is perfect, but entitlement turns a good thing into a wasteland.

Same with your job.

Your church.

Your friends.

Your life.

What if you chose to start each day thanking God for what you do have?

I believe it would start to push out the entitlement that you don’t even see in your life.

Your attitude determines your destination. If you want a better life start with thanking God for the good things you have.

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Rob Shepherd

I am the full-time husband of a wonderful woman! I love being married! We are proud parents to twins, Hayden and Reese. In my spare time I am the pastor of Next Level Church. I have a relationship with God and it is an adventure. Oh and I wrote a book. It's called Even If You Were Perfect Someone Would Crucify You.

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