When Entitlement Meets God

I have a confession to make. I struggle with entitlement.

Entitlement? The definition might as well be “Americans”. It’s the attitude of deserving–I deserve to live in an $$$ house, go to a private college, make $70,000 right out of school, send my food back at a restaurant if I don’t “like” it, sue someone for no reason at all, and….you get the point. This attitude almost doesn’t exist in the rest of the world.

I remember when the Chinese government shut off my power and water. Oh boy. They didn’t a.) notify me or b.) tell me when I might be able to expect heat, light, and water or c.) compensate me in some way. I was f-u-r-i-o-u-s.  I stomped around Kunming and demanded (in extra loud Chinese) that SOMEONE tell me what was going on. I shared my sob story about how I was sweaty from my run, had wet hair sticking to my head, and had PLACES TO BE. I was “that American”, oh yes. I burst into tears after a guy sitting behind a desk at the electric company chuckled through the thick smoke coming from his cigarette and said, “Foreigners”.

What happens when our sense of entitlement meets God? Does God ever owe us? Do we deserve certain things in this life? 

When I moved to China in 2008, nothing turned out as I expected. Within a few months, our team dissolved, accusations were flying right and left, and I left the missions organization. The details are not important, but I learned something very powerful that [excruciating] year. I saw in myself a roaring monster–I believed God owed me.  I moved across the globe to CHINA, gave up a career (and a husband–I thought) and told everyone from old ladies to little kids about the man who came to die for them. Look how much I sacrificed for God! Didn’t I deserve a good team? A good experience? Why did it feel like I was sacrificing for Him and life was just getting harder?

As Christians, we’ve heard a lot of false teaching. It’s easy to listen to certain preachers and believe God owes us: health and wealth, a spouse, a promotion, a good job, a ‘problem free’ family; or even the bigger things–life without abuse, a dad who isn’t an alcoholic, kids who don’t bring disgrace, a husband who doesn’t leave…and the list goes on.

The Bible says all who live for Christ will suffer. (2 Tim. 3:12) John the Baptist could have looked up to the heavens from his jail cell and asked, “Don’t I deserve to be rescued? I preached the Gospel and lived in the wilderness and baptized Jesus.” But he was never rescued. He was beheaded in the hands of a cruel, godless king. Paul could have made similar demands: “I preached the Gospel all over the world. Wrote most of the New Testament. Suffered imprisonment and more. Don’t I deserve to die in peace?” But he was brutally crucified. Jesus–He could have demanded an ‘easier death’ or even not to feel the pain. But he suffered greatly as he hung on the Cross and His Fathered poured out the sins of the world on His dying body.

The Bible also says that God doesn’t treat us as we deserve to be treated. He does not treat us as our sins deserve (Psalm 103:10) and what we deserve is death–without eternal life (Romans 6:23).  God spoke powerfully to me that year in China. One morning, I sat crying on my porch asking God what I did to deserve the false accusations and broken team. It felt like He was punishing me. His answer came in a still small voice, over the noise of the city below:

“My child. You don’t deserve anything. Yet, I have given you everything.”

Even when your life is wracked with pain and disappointment and confusion and heartache–when storms blow hard against your faith–remember this: God has given you everything in the person of His Son. Transcending hope of eternal life. He loves you with a love so deep and so powerful, He sent His Son to the Cross. For you.

Do you struggle with a sense of entitlement towards God? What do you feel God owes you? Leave your comments below.

Psalm 103 image

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Comments
7 Responses to “When Entitlement Meets God”
  1. a says:

    I found this blog i thought God owed me, i grew up with an abusive family who educated me. But had a terrible time in relationships. When i gave up a marriage to serve God i got no thanks in fact i got thrown out of my church. Needless to say i was a Lot bitter. He has not changed my circumstances in fact things are getting worse. And the “husband” i left is remarried to someone “less” spiritual then me. Its easy to get bitter and say God has dealt unfairly, i mean it has been unfair but what can you do. He didnt promise me a rose garden

  2. pinkdiamond says:

    I have always had low self esteem as far I can remember, I feel like a failure and everything that I do is stupid. I feel that God created me a human stupid idiot who is a failure. I feel very very insecure. I have ugly fat body imperfect in every way. I feel that God should have made me perfect and rich then that way I would not need him or other human beings on this planet. He OWES me everything besides he is the one that put in me on this earth. I have so many issues and problems in my life. It is truly his fault that he created me a stupid fool. I wished I had never been born and never have to deal with people at all. I know for a fact I am a stupid dumb human being full of flaws. I feel that I should be perfect then that way I would not need anything for real. I wished I had never been born. I am a stupid dumb retard that GOD created. I am convinced that He wanted me to be a dumb idiot. I know that I am. 100 percent stupid moron that I am. I want to be perfect and better than GOD and others. I hate being like simple human being. I hate average. I want to be the best! It is not fair that GOD put me on this earth at all. He should give me the very best being that he put me here on this earth. GOD does OWE me everything because He put me here. I OWE GOD nothing! Really!

  3. alli says:

    For years i thought God owed me a husband and a joyful family bc my parents were not living for God and i grew up in a violent home. I said surely God will bless me with a fabulous mate instead He allowed me to go to school and have a career. I never got the husband tho i did date a guy whom i loved who came from a great family, eventually tho it didnt pan out and i mean it was my fault, God doesnt owe me a great family and job especially when ppl dont follow His laws. We suffer bc ppl dont obey, sin effects not just the person sinning. So yes its a shame.but i wont put my hope on here and now. And no i dont have kids or a family but life is ok and im learning to be thankful, my life could be so much worse and truly this life is not forever so thank God for good days and try not to cry on bad ones..im still blessed.

  4. a says:

    For a long time bc i have such an abusive childhood i thought God owed my a spouse. I felt like He was sposed to ‘ make up’ for all the bad that happened to me obviiusly since then ive changed my tune. Esp since i still have no spouse. He doesnt even owe me a happy family. I used to get jealous at others but truly, He is not required to do anything for me. Hes already done everything, really i need to be spending my life thanking and doing for Him

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