It is kind of turned into a buzzword in today’s culture. Although, it is a reality. We have succumbed to this idea that we have the right to have what we want, when we want it, and in great abundance. AND we don’t even have to pay for it.
It’s a crazy and completely illogical thought, yet it permeates everything in our culture!
What exactly is entitlement?
Having the right or claim to something.
Think about that for a moment.
We live in an age of “rights”. Look all over and you can see the fight.
Everyone is warring over their rights. We have even infringed on the rights of others in order to see to our own rights.
This is what entitlement brings:
- No sense of responsibility
- No accountability
- No consequence
- No regard for others
- No personal development
Is that not what we have right now? We live in a….
“it’s not my fault,
I didn’t do it,
and if I did there is nothing you can do about it,
everyone for themselves,
I can do what I want,”
Here is the sad part…..It is now in our churches!
I have noticed this overwhelming attitude among the church. I have had a difficult time putting my finger on it. We have a bunch of lazy, undisciplined, pew sitters. I know the Church has always had pew sitters with twenty percent of the people doing eighty percent of the work, but I think that percentage is a stretch these days. I also believe the ones that are doing the work are serving despite being disgruntled with the whole thing.
I believe I have found the culprit.
It has seeped in the front door and plopped its self down and gotten comfortable.
How do we fight this culture that is destroying us as people, as a nation, and now, as the church?
Church we need to wake up!
KEY #1- RECOGNITION
The first key to fighting entitlement is to recognize it in your self. You are duped if you think you have not been effected by the attitude of entitlement.
Everyone, I will say it again…everyone in America has bought into this lie.
Do you ever get upset when someone parks in YOUR parking spot? Or when someone is sitting in YOUR chair or pew? That is entitlement rearing it’s ugly head.
KEY #2 RESPONSIBILITY
The first clue would be lack of responsibility. If your thought is it’s not my job or responsibility to do anything but your ministry you are wrong. The church is not the Pastor’s responsibility. It’s everyone’s. Take some ownership and responsibility. For example, if you see garbage in the parking lot what do you do? Do you even notice the garbage or do you just ignore it?
There are many things that need to be done in our churches and I am not talking about just official “ministry”. Find something to do and make it a responsibility. And…no one has to know.
KEY #3 RELATIONSHIPS
Step three would be get to know the other people in your church. Build relationships. Get some accountability. We have become so independent from the church and it breeds disunity. We, as the church, need to be unified. The more relationships we have with the body of Christ the more we are held accountable. We learn how to be humble and think of others before ourselves. Independence and isolation create an attitude of me-ism.
This step is crucial in the healthiness of our churches. Relationships start to shape our thinking. We start thinking of others and not our own selfish ambitions or our box checking activities. We need to get over ourselves!
If you have no means to build relationships in your church then reach out and invite someone over and get to know them. Invite someone to coffee. Send a card or a text and let someone know you are praying for them. Reach out to people. Connect and engage!
KEY #4 GROW UP! (Sorry, couldn’t come up with an R word 😉 )
The next key to fighting entitlement is grow up! This is really two fold. I do mean to start acting like a responsible adult, but I also mean to grow spiritually (which we will talk of in a later point). We have a bunch of whining “toddler” adults sitting in our pews today. When we do not get our way we whine and complain just like a toddler.
Toddler’s are known for being egocentric. They cannot see outside of themselves so they throw their little fits to bring everyone’s attention to them. WOW….we could learn something from that analogy.
We need to start showing some maturity. We are adults. We need to start acting like it.
KEY #5 RID OF THE EXCUSES
Another clue that you have bought in to this lie of entitlement is that we are full of excuses. There are no excuses! We are to be the church. Everyone is busy, distracted, and overloaded. You are not the only one who has life going on all around them.
Get it done.
Excuses show what is really important to us.
Recognize the excuses and overcome them.
KEY #6 READ! READ! READ!
Get in the Word! Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. If you are not in the Word, don’t expect to grow. You will not overcome entitlement unless you saturate yourself in the things of God. How can we have the attitude of entitlement when the gospel by it’s very nature shows us we deserve nothing?
The more you are in the Word the more able you are to fight this culture. We cannot fight a battle that we are not equipped for. Equip yourself daily.
Only you can make this happen. Going to church a couple times a week is not going to fight the culture. You must saturate yourself in the Word of God. Meditate, Murmur, and Memorize.
It is not your pastor’s responsibility to feed you. He is not there to make you feel good or feel welcome. He is there doing what he has been called to do….now DO YOUR PART!
KEY # 7 RELINQUISH YOUR RIGHTS
All of them. If we would just let loose of what we think our rights are or should be, the body of Christ would be more unified. Instead, we are so worried about our rights and that we might not get to do what we want or have our say that we have become complacent, disgruntled and dysfunctional.
Here is a thought….when you married your spouse you relinquished your independent rights and became a team. You are now one. Right?! (At least in principle this is the way it should be.)
The church is the Bride of Christ…yeah you get the picture!
We should relinquish all our rights to Jesus and follow His lead and do things His way and not hang onto the mirage that we have rights. We must surrender to His Authority, His lead, and His way.
I pray that we all open our eyes to the attitude of entitlement in our churches and make a change! Let’s kick entitlement to the curb and start being His church.
In what ways have you seen entitlement creep into our churches? What tips do you have to combat this attitude?
Blessings to you and your family,