Entitlement. Such a big issue in today’s culture. Kids today (I can’t believe I’m old enough to use that phrase!) harbor a strong sense of entitlement. Everybody gets a trophy. We are all equally successful. Toddler utopia. However good the intentions of this philosophy, it’s simply not true in the real world.
Entitlement is not part of God’s truth either. God doesn’t call us to be grandiose, larger than life, always successful. With God the weak are strong. The meek inherit the earth. He is made perfect in our imperfections.
And yet that’s what’s so hard. However entitled our youth may feel, all of us feel that way. That we are owed what is due. We deserve respect. What’s ours is ours. This lane is mine. We stand on our island, arms crossed in defiance, declaring our spot in the world.
I’m like this. Unfortunately. I read my Bible and I understand the teaching, and then I will catch myself inadvertently standing on my island demanding to be heard. I keep reading my Bible and praying because I’ve seen change transpire. I’ve noticed that over time, I’m on my island less and less.
You see, the more I help other people, the less I seem to be able to find the island. The more I create, the less time I seek to be on the island. The more I fellowship, the less I notice that the island is available to me.
Why is that? Well, I have a theory. (Of course, I always have a theory. At some point I hope my theories will be part of my purpose from God, but right now they are just keeping me busy in this coffee shop.) I think that we are not meant to be entitled but we are supposed to be subtitled.
Have you ever watched a foreign movie? The words in the translated language appear typed at the bottom of the screen. So your eyes watch the big picture up top and read the little words underneath. We are meant to be the little words underneath. Underneath God’s big picture above us.
You see, maybe it’s not that we are due what is owed but rather we express gratitude for what has been paid on our behalf. Maybe it’s not that we deserve respect but that through humility, we cultivate respect. Maybe what’s ours is ours to give.
As the beauty of God plays itself out in this amazing, intricate world, a focus on being the subtitles to God’s story instead of being entitled to our own ought be part of our purpose.