As I write today several things have happened: our electricity has been restored after an outage, groceries have been purchased, and an appointment with a medical specialist has been made. I mention this because I am grateful for where I live and the access that I have to these things. Many in our world survive and their reality is: no electricity, walking miles to obtain water that may not necessarily be potable, food insecurity, and medical help is out of reach.
I am blessed to live in Canada! I am thankful for the beauty that is ours to explore as we travel this great land.
Psalm 8:4-5 causes me to pause
“What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.”
I am reminded that if I do grow in my gratitude I may just begin to expect all the blessings in my life. The term is entitlement. Entitlement by definition means we think we deserve the good things that we receive. Its antidote is found in two coexisting actions based on belief:
- I am not in myself, or by myself worthy of glory. I receive the good simply because my being is in the likeness of God. I was made, formed, born to this. I have not earned it and do not deserve it.
- Tightly related to this is the action of gratitude. While unworthy, I am crowned, given benefits, and discover privilege that should surprise, please and be the source of gratitude which can well up in thanks to God.
Growing in gratitude is the ‘cure’ to being spoiled by entitlement. It’s a fine line in the Christian’s life. Knowing God intended us to be the recipients of His gifts — starting with our salvation in Christ — must be balanced internally with the knowledge that in our own natures we can quickly turn His favour into pride; the cousin to entitlement.
Knowing how much He has lavished on us should become the fuel to worship, gratitude, and the ongoing commitment to use all He has given to us as means to advance His name (not our own names), because He alone is worthy!