Summary: God's way is often the hard way.
Sunday Night: The Hard Way
Text: Galatians 6.4-10
CT: God’s way is often the Hard Way.
FAS: What is the type of religion that would bring the most happiness to the individual who practices that religion? Interesting question.
C.S. Lewis, a renowned Christian author and theologian was asked this question. His answer was quite thought provoking for me.
Lewis paused and said, "While it lasts, the religion of worshipping oneself is best."
In other words, if you want instant, but very short-term happiness, create a religion that focuses on worshipping you.
LS: If we are honest this is the type of religion we are promoting as a society. It is all about me. We are taught we are special as children.
I am of greater value than any one else.
My needs must be met no matter what.
I am owed what I want just because.
I shouldn’t have to do anything I don’t really want to.
What I do doesn’t affect anyone else. It is my life and I am owed the right to be happy.
We have become a very entitled society. Entitlement is defined as: The belief that one is exempt from responsibility and I am owed special treatment.
Many people in our “all about me” society, even though they are blessed beyond belief in comparison to earlier generations or other cultures, feel very entitled. They blame others for everything that they come up short in even though the real reason is their lack of effort and commitment.
Whatever the cause of the sense of entitlement, the end result is that the person believes that he or she doesn’t have to play by the rules of responsibility, ownership and commitment.
The end result is predictable. The entitled person feels good and lives badly, while those around them may feel bad about the situation but have more successful relationships and careers. They take responsibility for their life choices and blame no one but themselves for those choices.
You know those kind of people. Nothing really seems to get them down. They decided to not blame others and take responsibility for their actions. They overcame their past no matter how bad it had been because they decided they were worth it. They decided to not feel entitled.
Entitlement as a way of living is a choice. Blaming parents, spouses or co-workers or employers is no excuse.
All people who have had tough times and could choose entitlement as an out, but many do not. At some point someone chooses to be entitled. They find themselves moving toward a path of feeling entitled. Why? Because it is the Easy Way, the path of least resistance. It is, at least from their viewpoint the easy path to follow.
God does address this in His word. Galatians 6.4-10:
4 Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load.
We are not entitled to do what we want when we want with whom we want. That may be what our society teaches us but it is not what God’s word says.
Entitlement is all over the place in our world
--Parents with self-centered children
--Companies with unmotivated workers
--People who refuse to grow up and accept responsibility
--Leaders who expect special treatment because of their position, not their character.
--Marriages torn apart because of each seeking to be catered to without thinking of the other
--Churches where people put themselves before the mission of God. They feel their needs and wants should be met, not God’s desire for them and the community.
To put it bluntly, entitlement is a problem that is very prevalent in our culture and is not getting any better as time goes by. There is no age or social demographic this is limited to.
How can we reach and help those entitled people we love and want to help? Or how can we deal with that entitled feeling we may have our self that is damaging relationships we have. It can be tough.
Entitled people are hard to be around. They really don’t care how their behavior affects others.
Entitled people make us angry. When someone doesn’t take ownership or responsibility, someone has to step up. It makes us angry. It is hard to love the unlovable.
Entitled people can make us feel helpless. We can easily give up on the relationship or situation we encounter.
There is a solution to entitlement for our self and others. It is a path of behaviors that undo the negative effects of entitlement.
A book I am reading defines this as the Hard Way: The habit of doing what is best, rather than what is comfortable, to achieve a worthwhile outcome. When you consider something worthwhile, be it a career, a financial goal, a great family, a loving marriage. Entitlement causes you to give the minimum, find the shortcut and think only of yourself.