Entitlement. It’s a word the pastor spoke on last Sunday, and it was such a timely word for me to hear. I think, sadly, sometimes when growing up in the church, we think that if we serve the Lord, if we give our time, effort and energy to the Lord then we deserve ________. And I have fallen for that, many a time over. When we were in the trenches of infertility, oh how my cries to the Lord were laced with it. I mean, hello, we were serving as missionaries in Haiti and still the Lord wasn’t giving me the desires of my heart. (more on this one later!) I had to bring it before Him all the time, so I wouldn’t feel entitled, I wouldn’t feel like I deserved kids because I was serving Him. That’s not how He works, and I’m so thankful for that.
Or how about, most recently, when we got back from serving abroad last year, and we had nothing. And, I’m ashamed to admit it, we came back with a bit of a chip on our shoulders. Like because we had been serving and giving so much over the last few years, it was now time people helped us. We had very little to our names, came back to live with our parents, were unemployed for a very rough few months…and we couldn’t help but feel some kind of desertion from the Lord. I do think part of it was due to entitlement issues and thinking that He or the church owed us at least some basics, and that is so ugly at it’s core because it’s the idea that it’s my turn. It’s all about me. What do I get now. And it’s not just something the world teaches, it’s also something the Christian church teaches, and I find myself sucked back into that vortex more often than I realize.
I do, of course, think that the Lord wants to and does indeed bless us. But it’s not because we serve Him, obey Him, give to Him that He blesses us per say. It’s simply because He is our Heavenly Father and wants to. He desires to bless us in every way fathomable because we are His beloved children. And what is a blessing anyway? I used to only think of blessings as good ‘things’ given to me, material possessions, or great relationships, etc. But what about the blessing of a changed heart and attitude? Or how about the blessing of being burdened to help/give/serve others? Or what about the blessing of learning how to run to and rely solely on the Lord? Or how about the blessing of Him speaking right to your heart when you needed it most? Or how about the blessing of an encouraging word from a sister in Christ? Or the blessing of a perspective change?
I don’t know. I’ve been mulling this one over for a few days, and still have so many thoughts swirling around.