Entitlement: What Do You Think You Deserve?

deserve

A good education. A prestigious job. An attractive partner. Disposable income. A great house in a nice part of town. A late-model car. Are these rights? Desires? Privileges? Pipe dreams?

Last Tuesday at the Porch we talked about entitlement, which is the belief that your privileges are actually your rights. Living with an entitled mindset is dangerous, since it can cause you to forget what you actually deserve, and it robs you from experiencing joy and gratitude for what you actually do have. The more entitlement you have, the less joy you’ll have in life.

One of the applications from the message was to list 100 things you aren’t actually entitled to, but that you either currently have or believe you are entitled to. The goal of writing them down is to prayerfully reclassify them in your heart from seeing them as rights to seeing them as blessings and privileges.

I did this, and I want to share it with you in the hopes that it helps you work through yours. It’s almost embarrassing how easy it was for me to come up with 100 things that I believe I’m entitled to, but here’s a look at my list.

Spiritual

  1. A vibrant spiritual life marked by effortless spiritual discipline
  2. Overall happiness and joy
  3. The spiritual gifts that I want
  4. Deep communion and interaction with God
  5. Access to the Bible in any version
  6. Spiritual growth resources on any topic
  7. A church that I love attending
  8. Messages that are challenging but easy to follow
  9. Teaching that lines up with what I’m comfortable with
  10. The ability to serve where I want to serve
  11. Conversions when I share the gospel with others
  12. Minimal temptations
  13. The ability to resist those temptations I face
  14. Sins that aren’t hard to confess
  15. God’s favor and blessing
  16. The ability to memorize God’s Word easily
  17. The ability to understand and apply Scripture easily
  18. The wisdom to make good decisions
  19. To be free from anxiety
  20. Divine protection from accidents and tragedy
  21. Religious liberty
  22. To be under godly leadership

Relational

  1. A wife who is beautiful and also embodies Proverbs 31
  2. The right number of healthy, happy, and well behaved children
  3. Parents who love me and are involved in my life
  4. Siblings who love me and are involved in my life
  5. Nieces and nephews who love me and enjoy my company
  6. In-laws who love me, who aren’t dysfunctional, and are involved in my life
  7. Authentic fellowship with other Christians
  8. Meaningful friendships with people who pursue me
  9. A community group that isn’t hard to be in
  10. Respect and admiration from others
  11. Praise and recognition from others
  12. To be considered popular, funny, and smart
  13. Excellent social skills
  14. Quiet and considerate neighbors

Professional / Financial

  1. A good education that equips me for a successful career
  2. Financial assistance with that education
  3. Meaningful projects and tasks at work
  4. A healthy work/life balance
  5. Colleagues whom I enjoy working with
  6. The ability to succeed at whatever I do
  7. The professional flexibility to do whatever I want
  8. Recognition for my performance and excellence
  9. A job that pays me enough to live comfortably
  10. To be debt-free
  11. Passive income that I don’t have to work for
  12. An inheritance
  13. Full health benefits
  14. Paid vacation time
  15. Savings, investments, and a 401(k)

Leisure / Lifestyle

  1. A relaxing honeymoon in an exotic location
  2. A life free from boredom yet not stressful
  3. Fun and meaningful hobbies
  4. A gym membership
  5. Disposable income to do what I want to do
  6. Interesting books to read
  7. The time to read those books
  8. A road bike
  9. A mountain bike
  10. A boat
  11. The ability to retire when I want
  12. Healthy and delicious groceries
  13. The time and ability to cook
  14. Eating out when I want at restaurants and coffee shops
  15. Entertaining diversions (movies, concerts, etc.)
  16. The ability to travel where I want
  17. Reliable and fast internet access anywhere I go
  18. A lake house and/or mountain cabin
  19. Friends with a lake house and/or mountain cabin
  20. Good weather
  21. A pet that doesn’t require too much work
  22. Access to the latest technology
  23. Stylish and well fitting clothes
  24. Excellent customer service wherever I shop

Transportation

  1. A reliable yet stylish vehicle with high-end appointments
  2. A motorcycle
  3. A scooter
  4. A short commute
  5. Minimal traffic or delays when I drive
  6. To never get in a wreck

Living Environment

  1. A comfortable and beautiful house in a desirable location
  2. A home that requires minimal maintenance
  3. Stylish and tasteful high-quality furniture
  4. A good school district for my children
  5. A high-end mattress
  6. A large and comfortable bathroom
  7. Entertainment options (TV, outdoor grill, etc.)

Physical

  1. A healthy brain and sharp mind
  2. An attractive physique
  3. Above-average strength
  4. A head that doesn’t ache
  5. Joints that don’t hurt
  6. Nerves that fire correctly and don’t cause pain
  7. Freedom from illness, especially debilitating diseases
  8. Endurance and strength to exercise
  9. The ability to play sports
  10. White teeth that don’t have cavities
  11. Restful and restorative sleep
  12. Access to excellent healthcare

These aren’t all things that I currently have, but they reveal my desires and my pride. But how satisfying would it be to actually get all of these things, if I’ve been expecting them all along? Not very.

So what’s the solution to entitlement? Being grateful to God for the blessings He’s given, and trusting in God for whatever the future holds. Proverbs 30:7-9 says this, “Two things I ask of you, Lord; do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.”

Your daily provision. That’s what you need. Any more, and you run the risk of forgetting God and not looking to Him as the source of all blessing. Any less, and you run the risk of sinning to get what you think you need. Instead of feeling entitled to things and material blessings, praise the God who has given you every spiritual blessing in Christ!

Make your list. Pray through it. And ask God to change your heart to one of gratitude. And we’d love to hear what God does!

– Luke Friesen