Philippians 2:3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
The grocery store was packed. It was one of those crazy-before-holiday shopping days where everyone in whole city seemed to be at the store hurriedly trying to get food for their holiday dinner. Store clerks were restocking shelves, managers were filling in at the register, helping customers find that particular item, bagging, or helping restock and reset disheveled products on their shelves. The checkout lines were long, feeding back into the aisles of the store. Most people were making the best of it, chit-chatting with people in line, making comments about how many people they were having over, or talking about the weather. Sure, some people had their game face on and kept to themselves. However, one particular customer was very bothered that the lines were so long. They made comments, “Can’t they move any faster?” Many very loud sighs came out, with even an exasperated “Ahhhh, I should not have to wait like this!” At that point they looked up to the front of the line and with a smug expression on their face, stepped out of the line towards the front. They walked past an older lady loading her groceries onto the belt, handed their few items to the clerk and said, “You guys need to work faster!” I’m not sure if the shock of this rude behavior or the aggressive tone and look made the clerk ring this audacious person up, but they did. Wow, what an entitled person!
Entitlement is a growing attitude in our world where people feel they deserve to have everything given to them. They act like the world revolves around them, either with how special they are or how needy they are. They have a different set of rules and expect things to go the way they hope. They believe conversations and interest should be on them and get upset when people don’t give them the attention they feel they deserve. They disregard others’ feelings and have no problem upsetting or offending them. Regardless of knowledge or experience they feel entitled to whatever level of management or leadership they desire. We can have these tendencies and we know others who do! It is fast becoming the climate of our world. Yet, at a great cost. Entitlement destroys relationships. Entitled people are incredibly lonely. Entitlement pushes joy and fulfillment out of life. Entitled people are rarely happy or feel satisfaction in life.
There is some help. All throughout the Bible, four key attitudes come out that can counter this growing entitlement.
Humility is not thinking less of ourselves, but thinking more of others.
Philippians 2:4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
1 Peter 3:8 Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.
Empathy is the ability to comprehend what others feel and show genuine concern.
Romans 12:15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
Colossians 3:12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,
Contentment is finding peace in the circumstances of life. It’s not that we don’t try to improve or work hard or seek to develop our skills, but there is a settled peace with where God has us,
Hebrews 13:5 Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Philippians 4:19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
A servant’s heart is a humble heart that looks to help and assist others over being served by others.
Mark 10:45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
1 Peter 4:10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.
These are not easy attitudes to build today. The current of entitlement is strong, but seeking humility, empathy, contentment, and having a servant’s heart can help. How could you counter entitlement today?
Church can be an amazing place to learn and grow in these good and biblical attitudes. If you do not already have a church to attend, we would like to invite you to view or visit Neighborhood Church. We are a welcoming church and would love for you to connect with us! Our website has all the information you need for times and locations of all our Sunday gatherings. You can also find us online at neighborhoodchurch.com. As well, if you would like to view any of our past worship gatherings or videos, visit our YouTube channel, or just search Neighborhood Church Cypress or Neighborhood Church Los Alamitos on their YouTube site.
Countering the current of entitlement along with you,