Friday, September 3, 2010

What are you entitled to?

What are you entitled to?

I know you're not supposed to end sentences with a preposition, but, grammar aside, it's a crucial question. Entitlement is a huge issue in the lives of those with whom I do ministry and in our culture in general.  Suburbia is full of it.  The ministry landscape of American Evangelicalism is too.

Are you entitled to an easy life?  Are you entitled to enough money - the "enough" getting defined by you?  Are you entitled to a healthy body or healthy kids?  Are you entitled to the newest and latest (hello iPhone 4)?  Are you entitled to kids who don't whine?  Are you entitled to a spouse who knows your every thought?  Are you entitled to enough sleep?  Are you entitled to people believing your every word because you're a preacher (hello, Ergun Caner)?  Are you entitled to hurricanes missing your town or earthquakes happening elsewhere?

At the heart of these kinds of entitlement attitudes is the belief that God owes me something.  I've done a good job at not yelling at my kids, so I deserve healthy kids.  I go to church, so I should get a promotion.  I do ________ well, so I should get ________ in return.  It's "so-that" relating to God:  I'm doing X so that God will do Y for me.  It's also everything but Gospel.

There are certainly blessings that come our way because we live according to the revealed wisdom of God.  But we balance that with the reality of our broken and busted world where sin and suffering and death are still our foes, defeated foes through Christ but still present.

But that's just me thinking thoughts...

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