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Monday, March 23, 2009

Self-Entitlement


This week I have a wonderful post for you from my friend, fellow blogger and 5:16 gal Laura from 10 Million Miles. Laura is happily Ryan’s wife, Vivienne’s and Lia’s mommy, and a child of God: She's blessed to have a life that can focus on these joys. She loves finding the Truth in unsuspecting songs, books, poems, and people. She adores teaching her children well and watching them fall in love with Jesus. Most of her blog is about those things.


What is Self-Entitlement and How Do I Get Rid of It?

Self-entitlement: The attitude that lurks just under my skin, ready to emerge whenever I’ve worked my rear-end off and think I deserve some sort of a pay-back. (Also, when I imagine that people are deliberately disregarding my time or work.) (Also, when I self-righteously call myself a “servant”, but expect to be treated like a “queen”. I once heard a pastor say, “If you want to be the servant of all, expect to be treated like it.” Who wants that?!)

Its appearance: I’ve noticed ugly self-entitlement in my own life when I demand a “break” from the children, a mind-reading husband or a clean house (“I just cleaned this entry-way! Who left their shoes right in the middle of the floor?!”).

Its symptoms: So, what begins as an ugly thought, becomes a silent-though-deadly sigh, which becomes a snippy comment (“I said, who left their shoes right in the middle of the floor?!”), which becomes resentful behavior (shoving shoes into the closet), which becomes a sulky, mean, and demanding me.

Its friends: I find that when I am indulging self-entitlement, I’m simultaneously indulging discontentment, resentment, pride, selfishness, and independence. ‘Must be what Paul was talking about when he wrote, “For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.” (James 3:16)

Its food: Somehow, self-entitlement seems to gobble away the lovely things in life like relational peace, service, contentment, and joy.

Its fault: It turns out that, even if I did work my rear-end off, picking up those shoes is yet another practical way that I can serve the shoe-owner who - let it be known - did not intentionally leave his shoes there just to make me mad, or to disrespect my hard work. Rather - now that I think about it - he worked just as hard as (harder than?) I did and happened to leave his shoes on the mat on one (very) ill-timed occasion. And chances are, he didn’t have time to put them in the closet because he was rushing to relieve me of a whining child, a load of laundry, or a burning pot of beans, which made our house spell like cigarette smoke for days.

Its freedom: The way I see it, I am entitled to 2 stunning rights:

To love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength
To love my neighbor as myself. (Of course, these basically open a glorious storeroom of rights to me: the rights to serve others, love others, and to enjoy peace, kindness, and gladness to my heart’s content.)

Beyond that, though, I’ve got no self-entitlements. None.

I am not entitled to sulk, complain, demand, destroy, or resent. If my husband needs to work an extra hour on Tuesday night, or leave his shoes in the doorway; if my child needs me to leave a friend’s house early because she is strung-out from that 10 a.m. cupcake, or if she needs me to use that precious nap-time to plan healthier snacks for the week, bring it on. Let the thanksgiving commence! Let this woman say, “Praise the Lord! He has entitled me to love!”

It’s fought with: Philipians 2:3, James 3: 16, Romans 12: 1 - 2, Philipians 4: 4 - 9, Galations 5: 22 - 23

(Don’t worry! The author of this text took plenty of feminist-theory classes in college and has read piles of books about a woman’s rights, privileges, and expectations. She concludes that the feminist mentality doesn’t hold a candle to the glories of living a feminine life of Christian service and sacrifice that glorifies God!)

I’ve also very recently been encouraged by Sally Clarkson’s teachings about “Celebrating Life”. Listen carefully to her words about drinking the cup that God has appointed to us with grace. You can watch it here


and here



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16 comments:

MamaHen Em said...

Now THAT is a convicting post. Lots and lots of food for thought!

jamers said...

Hi Sally Mae! I nominated you for a blog award. Come on over to pick it up! I always enjoy your posts and know others do too!

Beth in NC said...

That is a great post, and I can certainly relate.

Thank you for sharing with us!

Kristin said...

Hi, Sarah Mae! I have given you the Sisterhood Award (in case you don't already have it) for having a blog with a great attitude and gratitude. Thanks for being such a source of encouragement! You can pick it up here: http://beautifullyadorned.blogspot.com/2009/03/sisterhood-award.html

Elizabeth said...

Greetings Sarah Mae!

I trust you and your family are well and loving life with an addition!

Thank you for always keeping my attitude in check so that I'll gloryify God womanhood!

Veronica said...

Hi there,
just wanted to say thanks so much for your encouraging words. It reminded me of when I was in high school. Every day as I was leaving for school my Dad would say "Have a good day, Ver. Don't let the devil get you down."

Simple words yet they're so true. Every day we need to make a decision to not let the devil defeat us. Some days are harder than others.

Love today's topic for Motivate me Monday. I would love to be able to contribute to that someday!

Thanks again! I am so glad to have stumbled on your blog, and know that it was not a coincidence! You are such a blessing!

Lady-in-the-Making said...

This was an extremely convicting post for me.

Extremely.

I have already watched the videos you posted but I definitely need to watch them again.

I don't like my "cup". I don't like being a "working mother". Yet right now, it is where God has me in submission to my husband.

I want a different "cup" and I don't want to work outside the home. I cannot imagine thanking God for my current situation.

Which means that it is precisely what I need to do.

Thank you for this post.

Gina said...

This is such a timely post for me-ouch, but I needed that reminder! Thanks! I'm motivated to change my attitude today!

christinnjon said...

Very thought provoking. Definately pierces me in a way I need to be. :)

Tberri said...

Thanks for the motivation!!!!! I love you blog and have given you an award. Check my blog to pick it up. Thanks for all you good thoughts!

Isabel said...

You hit the nail right on the head!

Debbie said...

Wonderful post. Makes me take a closer look at self. Thank you for sharing this with us.

God is so Good!

Krista said...

What a challenging post. This turned my Monday right back to where it needed to be--controlled by the Lord and not my selfish ideas/frustrations. Thanks for this!

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

Ouch, ouch, ouch!! Very excellent, convicting post! I really need to be praying about this. Thank you so much for sharing this!

ServinGsus said...

I've been re-reading this post every day and finally printed it out to put in my journal. I've been very convicted lately that I'm just not doing and being all that God wants for me, but I've not been able to put my finger on any one attitude or action that was out of place. Then, BAM!, I read this article and it was staring me in the face: self-entitlement. I thank you -sincerely!- for the wake up call. God has convicted me through this post to change some things (okay, pretty much everything!) and it's helping not only me but our family. Thanks =)

Joye @ The Joyeful Journey said...

EXACTLY what God has been impressing on my heart!! Love this post and I'm sure I'll have to revisit it many times :o)
I'm so glad ServinGsus linked to this article b/c that's how I found it!