Christianity 201

January 19, 2014

Entitlement versus Gratitude

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the theme of entitlement. I despise it when I see it in others, and yet am often guilty of it in other ways. This reading today actually appeared as a pre-Thanksgiving piece (I’ve made a small edit at the bottom to make it more universal) but it’s something we need to think about year-round. The author is Johnathan Dobbs and I encourage you to click through and browse the rest of the blog. Here’s the link to Conflicting Attitudes.



That’s the word to describe our current generation. It’s not that they ARE entitled, but that the feel entitled. They “deserve” all the good things, and working hard for those good things is a fleeting, antiquated idea uplifted by former generations who are “out of touch” with today.

Working hard and being grateful are ideas that are becoming extinct.

Yet, that is what Jesus calls us to in his word. He tells us that God is going to bless us, but he expects us to be workers in His kingdom. He doesn’t say spectators, he says workers. The bible talks in several places about the value of working:

“If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” 2 Thessalonians 3:10

Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody. 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12

“The worker deserves his wages.” -Jesus in Luke 10:7

These are just a few of the numerous places where working is shown as honorable and laziness is condemned. We are not called to be entitled, rather we are called to have a different perspective entirely.


This is what previous generations were and are. A person is grateful who has worked hard and sacrificed much to reach a goal. A person is grateful who understands the value of things he or she has been afforded.

We are grateful for our men and women who serve in the military because we like being free and understand their role in our freedom. We are grateful for those we love in our life as we understand that their time with us is fleeting, and life would be different without them. In times of cold and heat we are grateful for the houses we live in.

If the entitled generation is grateful they don’t show it. Theirs is a constant quest for more and better. They don’t understand the value of contentment.

So, which are you? Are you grateful or do you feel entitled? It is an entitled generation that can’t complete thanksgiving day without sacrificing it for time spent on the early deals at the store. It is an entitled generation that is constantly in debt. But it a grateful generation that makes it a habit of being thankful for what they’ve been given and giving thanks to those who deserve it.

We all may have a little bit of each attitude inside, but we are called to be grateful – to give thanks – and to work for what we get.

And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way:bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. Colossians 1:10-12

You have much to be thankful for. May this be the beginning of a new daily attitude of gratitude in your life such that others can see God’s working in you. May you bear fruit by your hard work in all things, and may you give honor where it’s due – especially to God.