The attitude of entitlement can simply be the result of being “spoiled” by growing up with privilege and affluence. Most Americans don’t see themselves as particularly wealthy and affluent. But compared to the rest of the world we all are.
Entitlement creeps in when someone is accustomed to getting things fairly easily. Maybe it’s because of family pride or because of hard work and pulling one’s self up by your bootstraps. But if it results in the attitude that I deserve and therefore need to be recognized and served, then you’ve definitely taken on the disease.
Success can breed entitlement. But it doesn’t have to. Being a recipient of God’s unmerited favor can also sinfully morph into an entitlement mindset. This happens when we cease being amazed at God’s kindness and mercy and somehow start taking credit for the changes and successes God has wrought in our lives.
Here are some symptoms of entitlement:
1. Irritability and impatience.
2. Sees people and churches in different “classes”.
3. Cannot receive input or correction from average people.
4. Needs to proclaim titles, degrees, accomplishments, or holdings.
5. Gives oneself permission to indulge excessive appetites.
6. An unwillingness to serve in small things and wait for promotion.
One day a few years back I was waiting on someone to pick me up at the hotel where I was staying in a foreign country. As I waited in the lobby I sadly had to watch a pitiful situation unfold. There was a small group of Americans in that hotel working with a local missions organization. They apparently were on a “short-term missions trip.” So far, so good. The problem was that they were not happy at all with how long the checkout process was taking. They were acting very ugly and making rude comments. I was ashamed of them as a fellow American, but even more so as a fellow Christian.
What was the problem? They were so accustomed to getting their needs met in certain ways that they felt entitled to such ease and efficiency anywhere and anytime they traveled.
This was a clear indication of an entitlement mentality.
It was pretty ugly. Makes me feel a bit sick to my stomach even now as I recall it. Have you struggled with this sin? Have you seen other symptoms of it? Please leave a comment and add to the discussion.