Turning From Entitlement

8:46 AMHeather

One of my broken record mantras this summer to my children had to do with being grateful for what we have.  To quit asking for more.  To stop seeing "more" as a right.  Yes, I do believe in my ranting and raving my children heard the word "entitled" a few times.  My husband and I have shaken our heads, wondering how this sense of entitlement has crept its way into my children's mentality.  We honestly have worked hard to be counter cultural here.  But then again--don't we all honestly have that sense of entitlement as part of our flesh nature that we wrestle against? 

As I've prayerfully considered how to handle this, attack this issue with more gusto and effectiveness in our home, a one word remedy comes to mind.  Gratitude.  Yes, that's it!  Chris and I want to be more intentional to infuse our home with gratitude.  Being more intentional to point out all the ways God has blessed us...to turn our wanting to thanking instead.  Just about that time, I saw this on Pinterest. 

I love it.  A visual and statistical reminder of all we have to combat the feeling of "all we want."  I intend to print and post this in our home.  And, we've worked harder to discuss at the dinner table what we are thankful for each day.  We've been working to ask our children to see how God intersected their day with His blessings and goodness.  Our bedtime prayers have become more focused on the tiny little things to be thankful for.  

Lest I pat myself on the back for all my fabulous parenting, I've been reminded repeatedly this week that it's not enough.  It's not enough to hold hands and count our blessings.  It's not enough to shift slightly from all we want to being thankful for all we have.  No, it's not enough because it still keeps a blind eye to the hard truths that Christ wants us to embrace.  

He wants us to recognize the need in the world and have a heart for the poor.  Not just a feeling of reading those above statistics and thinking, "Oh, that's so sad."  No, He wants us to know the faces behind them.  To hold the hands of those who represent them.  To get our hands and feet dirty by serving and meeting the needs of the poor.  The Bible is overflowing with passages about experiencing God's love and being changed by it so that we turn our attention to those who have great need for it.  Not just in their hearts, but whose very lives are desperate and broken and hungry...and in need. 

It's a hard pill to swallow to realize how shallow I can be.  To realize how our culture, and yes even our churches, can often bury our heads in the sand to the plight of the poor in the world.  But, I cannot deny that God is lighting a spark in my heart to this issue.  I have no idea where he intends to take me, or how this will play out.  But, there's no denying He has something He wants me to hear.  

You know, when you sit in church on Sunday morning and a new initiative called, "Freedom from Excess" is introduced.  With specific ways to weed out our excess and bring it to to the church to be distributed personally to those in need just a mile away.  Not just dropping off goods at a local ministry or organization.  Nope, a chance to be the ones to hand them to those in need in our community and to serve them a meal and to meet real needs physically and spiritually.  Or, how about six hours later, as you sit in Life Group and hear David Platt speak passionately about waking up, America, and being radically abandoned to the cause of Christ!  That includes finding ways to radically change the way we view and help those in need.  Having a global perspective and being willing to go out into the world, as God would lead.

Glimpse of GRACE:  Yes, indeed.  In the last few days, I've felt a call to action.  God is speaking to me in repetition to turn from entitlement.  Not just by being grateful.  But, by putting legs to it by intentionally seeking out opportunities to meet the needs of those who represent the statistics from that pretty little chart.  I don't know yet how this will all play out, but I hope you'll be part of it with me.  

We are starting at the beginning here.  We are weeding through our excess to gather clothes and such that our church will distribute to those in our community.  I want us to sign up to be part of meeting those people in person, as a family, and distributing the items they need.  We are prayerfully considering how we can do with less so that we can give more.  Our plan is to put a jar in our home, and every time we opt out of going out to eat or going for ice cream, we put that dollar amount in the giving jar instead.  We are asking God to show us how to take our family on an international mission trip, and a seed of an idea has been planted.  We are, as David Platt challenged us to do, asking God to help us lay it all out on the table and be willing to surrender what He asks of us.  

Entitlement is all in the news right now, in political debates and such.  Today, that is not the entitlement I am talking about.  I am talking about that part of our heart that feels we have a right to whatever we want.  I'm talking about that sense of discontent because there's something we don't have.  I'm talking about getting real and gut checking ourselves, and taking our children along for the ride.  It's time.  It's time to be willing to give more and do more.  And in so doing, experience more of our Savior as we dig deeper.

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