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Entitled

It is rather appropriate that on the first day of lent I am thinking through the entitlement mentality of the dominate generation. David Murray has devoted the latest podcast to the issue and I think it is important to recognize it and ponder how to counter act it. The younger generation is terribly entitled. The expect to benefit without work or for little work. We are all prone to entitlement as a way of life but it is an inborn sickness among many.

Murray interacts with the mentality and I encourage you to at least read his post and think through how you are functionally entitled. And then stop it. Murray addresses what we are entitled to.

“As a Christian, I believe in one entitlement.

I’m entitled to Hell. That’s the only entitlement I have. That’s all I deserve, because of my sin. Anything else is grace, an unmerited bonus from the God of all grace. I don’t deserve a breath of life, a crumb of food, a drop of water, a stitch of clothing, a cent in my wallet, or an hour of education. I’m not entitled to one friend, one vacation, one verse of Scripture, or even one sermon. I’m certainly not entitled to salvation and heaven. I’m entitled to damnation and Hell.

That sense of entitlement makes me seek mercy, receive mercy, enjoy mercy, and be merciful to others. To paraphrase the Apostle Paul, “What have I that I did not receive as a free gift of divine grace? How therefore can I ever boast as if I had actually been entitled to it or earned it?”

So, there are basically only two ways to live: with a proud and angry sense of entitlement or with a humble and thankful sense of responsibility.”

Read the post and hear the podcast here.

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Occupy this…

As we look at the discontent exposed in the Occupy Wall Street groups we are faced with more than a political question. It is far too easy to look through a political lens and mentally knock down the protesters but in doing that we disregard the root of the discontent and hope that such an event would incite change.

Brett McCracken has a good take on the events and pushes us to look more closely at the feelings of entitlement that are prevalent. “Mostly, though, Occupy Wall Street represents the natural discontent of an entitled generation raised on the notion that we deserve things, that the government owes us something, that everything we want should be accessible, and that somehow we are not responsible if we don’t end up quite as successful in life as we’d hoped. It’s a blame-shifting problem. It’s an inability to delay gratification or go without that which we believe is our right or destiny. And it’s a problem both on the micro/individual and macro/government level.”

It is a generational issue but one our culture and the absolute corruption of sin has produced. The mentality of entitlement has its genesis in the garden and since that first bitter taste we have been wrestling with it and pushing against it. Our answer? Christ and only him. I don’t deserve salvation and I could never earn it. That is the tension.