Entitlement vs. Duty | Luke 12 and 17

Welcome to Real Life. Does God owe me?

Recently, an 18-year-old sued her parents for child support and access to her college fund:
Canning, an honor student at Morris Catholic High School, claims her parents threw her out of the house and would not support her beyond her 18th birthday unless she gave up her boyfriend.[1]
She lost the first round in court. That the case even went to court marks a cultural shift. Legally, an 18-year-old is an adult. An adult is responsible for his or her own financial support. This was generally understood decades ago. After I turned 18, I no longer expected my parents to foot my bill.

The world has changed. A college degree is more necessary today than ever before. Therefore, the need for parental support has extended into a child’s 20’s. However, this hasn't changed: parental support is tied to parental influence. When a child rejects a parent’s guidelines and expectations, should they expect that parent to fund their rebellion?

This mindset of entitlement can invade my spiritual life as well. God is my heavenly Father. He loves and supports me. Everything—and I mean everything, my very breath—comes from his hand. Am I grateful? Or, do I believe God owes me?
Suppose one of you has a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Will he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, “Come along now and sit down to eat”? Won’t he rather say, “Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink”? Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, “We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.” (Luke 17:7-10 NIV)
The Bible clearly teaches that God loves me unconditionally—whether or not I snub his rules, desires and influence. However, when I reject God and his influence, I also remove myself from his protection and provision. Alternatively, when I fulfill my duty to God and others, I am rewarded.
Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them (Luke 12:35-37 NIV).
Though I am the child, the servant—Christ himself will serve me. The thought overwhelms me. The King of kings left his throne above to inhabit flesh. He did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.[2]

Lord Jesus, may my heart reflect your beautiful heart, one that loves to serve.



Taking it further ...
  • Speaking of serving, interview for the World's Toughest Job (smile):




Image: Wikipedia, by Jonathunder, titled "Old gavel and court minutes displayed at the Minnesota Judicial Center"
[1] http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/03/04/student-sues-parents-college-tuition/6024457/
[2] Matthew 20:28

Comments

  1. THAT certainly was an interesting analogy, Peggi! I teach Family Law at an OKC law school, and I had several discussions with the class over the couple of weeks this story was covered. I didn't bother to hide how ridiculous I found the 'child's' position to be and segued into the 'sense of entitlement' so prevalent in our society. Did I think to apply it to myself with regard to my expectations of unconditional love in spite of my behavior? No, I did not. Thanks for the toe-crunching message!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Shel,
      I was surprised by my strong feelings when I heard this news story discussed back in March. I happened to be working on a chapter in my book about the intersection of grace and holiness. It fit perfectly. My original blog was twice as long, but I ruthlessly edited. I'm glad the message was still clear.

      Thanks so much for your comment, Shel!

      Delete
  2. I too, find that a sense of entitlement has all but over-taken our culture. It is a terrible problem! But like Shel, I'm saying "ouch" regarding some of my heart attitudes lately. I'm still working on getting my spiritual life on track, but I suppose it is a never-ending journey. Thank you for sharing the comforting truth of God's unconditional love and grace, and the reminder to not take his grace for granted!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Di,
      Thanks for stopping by. You are right about the never-ending journey. I'm so grateful for God's grace. And, as you said, I never want to take it for granted! :)

      Delete

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