An Entitlement Mentality in Church

An Entitlement Mentality in Church

An entitlement mentality says, “You owe me!” It encourages me to demand that you do something for me, give me something, or treat me in a uniquely special way – just because. And I have no particular responsibility in return. And sometimes there can be an entitlement mentality in church.

Our Western culture has incorporated an entitlement mentality into much of our lifestyle. This mindset honestly believes that “they” owe me an education, health care, a job, a comfortable home, and just about anything else I want. Social programs abound and enormous amounts of tax money are spent to bolster people’s quality of life without requiring anything of significance from the recipients.

Yes, that’s probably an oversimplification. And I’m not going to comment on the politics or social policy involved. But I DO want to talk about how this entitlement mentality displays itself in the Christian community.

I had a classmate in graduate school whose story highlighted this for me.

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The Gift of Your Transformation

Young Boy with GiftThere is real joy in giving. We instinctively know this. A young man gives special presents to his sweetheart in a quest to win her heart. A parent relishes the wide-eyed joy in their child’s eyes on discovering an unexpected gift. Most of us have experienced moments of such joy.

When someone we care about is in trouble it’s natural to want to help. Often we try to do so by giving things. A divorced parent tries to soothe their child’s pain by buying more “stuff.” Culturally those who have a sense of guilt feel obligated to give “stuff” to those who may have been wronged.

Sometimes things are needed. But too often that becomes nothing more than feeding a hungry man a fish, when teaching him to fish for himself would feed him for a lifetime. And there’s nothing more powerful in teaching someone to fish than seeing YOU do so.

Your own transformation is the most powerful gift you can give to someone in trouble.

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The Space Between You and Your Spouse

The Space Between You and Your Spouse

How close are you and your spouse? How wide is the space between you? What’s in that space?

When your relationship began you probably felt you couldn’t get close enough. You spent every possible moment together. You shared thoughts and feelings even when you didn’t really have to. You wanted to know everything you could about your sweetheart, and wanted him or her to know everything possible about you.

Time marches on. Life happens. Things change. Something comes between you and your spouse. It may be something small at first: a harsh word, a misunderstanding, an unmet expectation. This becomes a brick on the ground between you. It’s almost small enough to ignore at first. You stub your toe on it once in a while, but mostly you just step around it.

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Being REAL or Being Helpful

Two Girls Sharing SecretsDo I share my feelings completely? ALL the time? Will it hurt other people if I do? If I don’t, will keeping secrets hurt me – or them? If I know this, shouldn’t I share the information?

Some people naturally share everything they hear or know or feel. Others have developed the habit of keeping everything to themselves. Here’s a truth to ponder: once you tell someone something, you can’t “untell” it. Apologies can help if you’ve said something that is harmful, but how much better to never tell something that causes pain in the first place. It may not always be easy to know whether sharing certain information is wise or not.

Here are a few examples of where “keeping secrets” is actually a good thing:

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5 Tips for Getting Past the Drama

Drama MasksIn my office today sat a couple planning the next steps in their journey to try to have a child. Couples dealing with infertility are already on somewhat of an emotional roller-coaster. On top of all this the additional stress of the Christmas holiday season is sometimes just too much.

But for this couple it wasn’t the physical or emotional pressure of infertility, or the extra travel or financial “stuff” over the Christmas holiday season, or the somewhat depressing weather that was getting them down: it was the family drama they had just been through. Why does it seem the holidays so often bring that drama to a boiling point?

I doubt this couple are the only ones who have just experienced some fatiguing family drama.

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