Tonight my second daughter came to me right before bath time. She was upset that her sister has been eating some snack, the identity of which was unknown to her because it was so small and so quickly eaten. Demandingly, she exclaimed, "She got something so I should get something too!"
Hold up. Wait a minute. (Continue singing the particular Family Force Five song from here if you know it...)
I wasn't looking for a example of entitlement but I just found one. Right there.
JUST BECAUSE SOMEONE ELSE IS GIVEN SOMETHING DOESN'T MEAN WE HAVE A RIGHT TO IT ALSO.
I calmed down my distraught daughter. "If you want something, ask nicely for it. But just because your sister got something does not mean you automatically get it too." (She proceeded to ask nicely, and I gave her one grape, just in case you were wondering how the issue resolved.)
What struck me most about this exchange was how this relates to us as the Body of Christ.
(It PLAGUES all humanity, obviously. So, I'm not ragging on my child. My kids just happen to be great object lessons because they are still new in their sanctification process, to put it nicely.)
Back to my point...
Envy. Jealousy. Covetousness. ENTITLEMENT.
So, what does God say about this?
Read 1 Corinthians 12 and 13. Now. (If I copied it all here, this post would be crazy long. But really, please read it now.)
He gives to each of us different gifts. Some of us will have the same gifts. We are encouraged to ASK God for gifts. (IMPORTANT NOTE: Asking boldly in faith is different than jealously whining for something we want just so we can look good or feel better about ourselves.) Put us all together (as the local and global Body of Christ) and we work like an amazing force, bringing Jesus to everyone we meet.
At least, that is God's will for us.
But if we don't walk in that, then there's entitlement, envy, pride and selfishness going on.
For a very bold, entitlement-shattering look at our God, check out what the Messiah had to say about this very thing...
"“For the Kingdom of Heaven is like the landowner who went out early one morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2 He agreed to pay the normal daily wage[a] and sent them out to work.
3 “At nine o’clock in the morning he was passing through the marketplace and saw some people standing around doing nothing. 4 So he hired them, telling them he would pay them whatever was right at the end of the day. 5 So they went to work in the vineyard. At noon and again at three o’clock he did the same thing.
6 “At five o’clock that afternoon he was in town again and saw some more people standing around. He asked them, ‘Why haven’t you been working today?’
7 “They replied, ‘Because no one hired us.’
“The landowner told them, ‘Then go out and join the others in my vineyard.’
8 “That evening he told the foreman to call the workers in and pay them, beginning with the last workers first. 9 When those hired at five o’clock were paid, each received a full day’s wage. 10 When those hired first came to get their pay, they assumed they would receive more. But they, too, were paid a day’s wage. 11 When they received their pay, they protested to the owner, 12 ‘Those people worked only one hour, and yet you’ve paid them just as much as you paid us who worked all day in the scorching heat.’
13 “He answered one of them, ‘Friend, I haven’t been unfair! Didn’t you agree to work all day for the usual wage? 14 Take your money and go. I wanted to pay this last worker the same as you. 15 Is it against the law for me to do what I want with my money? Should you be jealous because I am kind to others?’
16 “So those who are last now will be first then, and those who are first will be last.”
God is JUST, not "fair" as our culture usually things of fairness. Read it and weep. I'll weep with you. In a good way. He can be trusted.
They will declare, “The Lord is just! He is my rock! There is no evil in him!” Psalm 92:15
His love for all people is incredible! He doesn't show favorites. He rewards each as He sees fit.
And He is enough for me. MORE than enough. We don't need to complain about what so-and-so was given and demand more for ourselves. ADONAI is our portion. ADONAI is MY portion.
“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,“Therefore I have hope in Him.” Lamentations 3:24