Following on briefly today from yesterday’s post on why bad things happen. (If you came here for that post, welcome!) I touched on the fact that God isn’t fair, and it is a good thing for us that He isn’t, or we would get what we deserve. I ran into this comment this morning:
I don’t deserve a breath of life, a crumb of food, a drop of water, a stitch of clothing, a cent in my wallet, or an hour of education.
Tim Challies wrote that yesterday in his comments on the entitlement mindset that pervades Western societies. He’s writing with an American focus, but if anything, the entitlement thinking is even stronger here in Britain. The entire article is worth reading, but here’s another excerpt to get you started:
It hurts marriages by putting the focus on “What can I get from him/her?” rather than “What can I give?” It hurts charity because the rich leave it to the government and withdraw from contact with the poor; the poor just get handouts from an impersonal, faceless, soulless State rather than from real caring people. Above all, a sense of entitlement destroys the Christian life.
As a Christian, I believe in one entitlement.
I’m entitled to Hell. That’s the only entitlement I have. That’s all I deserve, because of my sin. Anything else is grace, an unmerited bonus from the God of all grace.
I’ll just add one thing, because although Pastor Challies implied it, he did not explicitly state it:
An Entitlement Mentality Kills Gratitude
You aren’t properly grateful for things given to you
if you think you deserved them
Update: I said Pastor Challies is writing with an American focus, but I should clarify. He is a pastor in Canada, but is quoting American sources. What he says applies everywhere, of course.
Update Again: Please see the excellent comment below by John Wesley (that John Wesley? :)) about God’s justice in forgiving and justifying us.