Thursday, April 14, 2011

Entitlement - last thought...

An entitlement is something I feel I have the right to but have no investment in.
I'll wrap up today with this confession:  I feel entitled to people agreeing with me.  Like most people, I like it when they do.  I even expect it.

The problem is I have no investment in that.  Just like I can't control my kids' behavior, I can't control other folks' opinions.  I can lay out my arguments.  I can explain why it's important to me, them, and everyone else.  But I can't control their response.

In ministry, this happens regularly in counseling situations.  A person comes in because they need help.  I do my best under God to offer biblical counsel.  They reject it.  I can encourage them.  I can exhort them.  I can load them down with Bible verses.  But I can't choose the course for them.  I can't make them desire holiness.  I can't make them love righteousness.  I can't make them see and choose the way of wisdom.  Ever had that happen when you're trying to give advice to someone?

This is humbling and frustrating every time for me.  I want them to listen.  I want them to change.  And frankly, I want them to do so (to some degree) because I want them to agree with me.

I.  I.  I.  Too many of those.

Entitlement, in this case, costs me a bigger, truer, better goal.  The biggest thing it costs me in that kind of moment:  to love them by wanting God's best for their lives.

So I have to move from giving advice (no matter how biblical) to wanting God's best for them.  That's a much better motivation.

But that's just me thinking thoughts...

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