The Entitlement Gene

Luke 15:10 – Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.

Luke 15:11 – And he said, A certain man had two sons:

Luke 15:12 – And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.

Luke 15:13 – And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.

Hello readers, thanks for reading today. Recently I’ve been thinking about a principle found in the story of the prodigal son. A principle so simple, yet so powerful and so true it is staggering. Today I am going to be talking about entitlement. The prodigal son was entitled. Maybe you’re just like him. Entitlement is strong in our society. I have to look at my own life, and it’s pretty ugly. Isn’t it always?

What is entitlement? It is feeling like you have a “right” to certain benefits or privileges. This son was entitled. The prodigal son said to his father “give me”. You ever run into people who are just gimmes? All they can say is give me. They’re not giving, they’re demanding. Hophni and Phineas grew up as priests sons, entitled. And their entitlement stemmed from the fact that they were children of Belial. Their father was Satan. Feeling entitled is a sign you are not saved, or at the very least it’s a sign there’s something bad wrong in your life. And it is a sure sign that your life is lacking repentance and the grace of God.

Grace is a very important word in the Bible. It is by God’s grace that we are saved. See, the mere fact it’s grace takes away all our entitlement. Because if you were entitled to it, it wouldn’t be grace. Grace is , by definition, getting something you are not entitled to. You’re not entitled to God’s grace, mercy, love or anything but you enjoy it and abuse it and waste it nonetheless, without fear, without consideration, without being able to stop for just a second in your pig headed life to take stock of where you’re at. It took a pig headed boy to the pig pen for the penny to finally drop, for some realization to come flooding in.

Although God’s grace is extended to all men, not many people ever receive that grace. And that grace never changes their life. You see, receiving God’s grace changes your life. You cannot receive the grace of God and not be a changed person. God’s grace is received through repentance of sin and placing your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. When you do repent, that entitlement goes in a real hurry. Realizing your sinner is a dagger through your fierce, callous, foolish entitlement complex. God’s grace does not produce entitlement, God’s grace is the solution to our entitlement.

Many people believe they have a right to things that they don’t have a right to. They make demands of God and others like they have a right to it. They demand to be treated a certain way. They demand of other’s time, other’s possessions, other’s money, other’s good graces. Rather than ask for it, they demand it. Give me. Me. Me. Me.

When you come to a realization of who and what you really are, and how undeserving you are and how little right you have to the grace which you enjoy from God and others, you will lose that entitled attitude. Any person in the Bible who received grace did not show entitlement. Look at people like Mephibosheth and Ruth in the Bible. Ruth 2:10 – “Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said unto him, Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger?”

When you see yourself for what you truly are, a wicked hell deserving sinner, you’ll lose that entitlement. Ruth did not feel entitled to the mercy and love and grace that Boaz showed her. She appreciated it, she received it, and her life was changed by it, but she did not feel entitled to it. She did not feel entitled to a government handout. She went out into the field and worked. She didn’t feel entitled to certain treatment and benefit and privilege. But the grace Boaz kindly showed to her caused her to be so thankful and grateful for getting what she had no right to. She didn’t feel entitled just because she had experienced tragedy in her life. She didn’t feel like people owed her and God owed her and you owe her.

If you ever come to a place of repentance of sin in your life, you will be just like Ruth was rather than like the prodigal son was. If you know the story of the prodigal son, as you read through this famous story Jesus told, you’ll read that he finally came to himself out there with the pigs in a time of famine, and the next time he spoke to his dad that entitlement was well and truly gone. Luke 15:21 – “And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.” That’s quite a different statement from the son that had been demanding “give me” at the start of the story.

So many people today have an attitude and life that betray their entitlement rather than their humility, their pride rather than their brokenness, their delusion rather than godly recognition of truth. Taking ownership of your sin is the best thing you’ll ever do. People who often claim the grace of God who use it as their justification to live a godless life often prove themselves most destitute of God’s grace. God’s grace never changed their life, because they never received it, because it’s only received through repentance and an acknowledging of the truth. This son came to the truth, make no mistake about that. I have sinned.

If you’ve ever received the grace of God that is freely extended to you in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, it won’t produce an “I’m entitled to this, give me what’s mine, I deserve this”. No, God’s grace will produce a “I am unworthy of your love and grace O God”. Why do you love a wretch like me? Why did you save me? Thank you so much for what you’ve done for me in saving me, a hell deserving and unworthy and ungrateful and unthankful and wretched sinner.

The truth is, the only thing that is rightfully ours is hell. That’s what we’ve earned, that’s what we deserve. The good things you have are given you by God’s grace, did you know that? All those things you have, they’re a gift from God to you. Your time, your youth, your strength, your energy, your ability… you didn’t give yourself that. God gave you your life. And you’re going to waste it on yourself because you feel like everyone else owes you and needs to meet your needs and serve you. What have you got that was not given to you by your Creator or by your parents or by other people in your life? Think of all those people who have helped you, who taught you, who cared for you, who showed grace to you.

It’s not possible to have repented of your sin and received the grace of God by faith and also be entitled. If you’ve ever seen you’re a sinner, you’ve realized you’re not entitled to anything in life. Realizing God’s grace that has been so undeservingly yet richly bestowed upon you will break that entitlement complex that we all have. This son wasn’t entitled to anything from his father. He didn’t have a “right” to an inheritance. He got it because his father loved him, not because he had a right to it. So often we abuse the love of God and other people to us. We exploit it, we shamelessly take advantage of the love and goodwill of others.

If you are entitled, you have nothing to be thankful for. You’re just getting what is rightfully yours after all. We can be quite spoilt and entitled little brats can’t we. Everyone owes us don’t they, even God owes us. But he doesn’t owe you a thing. In fact, you are in debt to him. You have a great big sin debt, that will take eternal hellfire to pay, and you’ll never be able to pay it, that’s why it’s eternal. He doesn’t owe you, you owe him. When you’re forgiven, it’s not because you were entitled to it, it’s because God chose to forgive you because he loves you. When are we going to lose the entitlement and replace that unthankful heart with a new heart that pours out thankfulness for all that God and others do for us which we don’t deserve, earn or merit, but they bestow it on us anyway because they love us.

We live in a generation just like this prodigal son, they think everyone owes them what they don’t owe them. They live on the good graces of others, and they take and spend what is not theirs. They are never thankful, they’re never satisfied, they’re never pleased, they are like the horseleach in Proverbs, give me, give me, give me, more, more, more. The day you truly see the goodness and grace of God that has been extended to you, it will be a life changing truth. Someone who has come to repentance does not feel worthy, they lose that entitlement at the cross.

There were ten lepers that Jesus healed, but the only one that turned back to thank the Lord was a Samaritan. You see, Samaritans weren’t as entitled as pure breed Jews. They didn’t have the airs about themselves that the self righteous ones had. Maybe those other lepers felt they were entitled to being healed and cleansed. Why didn’t they come back? Why did they not thank Jesus Christ? You’ll realize one day you’re not entitled to a thing in life. Nobody owes you. Odds are you’ve been taking your whole life, not giving. Your entire life is a function of the grace and care of others, and instead of humility and thankfulness, it’s bred a filthy version of entitlement. You EXPECT it. You DEMAND it. You have RIGHT to it. You have a right for others to serve you and meet your demands. It’s an ugly trait we all share.

Repentance and entitlement can never coexist. You have either one or the other. We live in an entitled society with an entitled mindset. We just take our freedom for granted. We take our food for granted. We take our house for granted. We take peace for granted. Do you realize people have died for us so that we can have all that? Do you realize the blood that has been shed so you can have your Bible? You weren’t entitled to the Bible, you were given it by people that loved you so much and wanted you to have a chance to be saved and know truth. You got it because someone loved you, not because you deserved it or had a right to it.

We have to lose the entitlement. May we all come to ourselves. May we come to that place when we say “I am not worthy”. Mephibosheth stood before David and he wasn’t demanding to be treated well because he was the son of a king. He said “What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?” He sounds a lot different to the generation we are in which is like in Proverbs 30:13 – “There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up.” Oh you really think you’re something, the world owes you, everyone owes you, you’re used to everyone serving and making way for you.

Entitlement really is thinking you have a right to something that you don’t have a right to. You think you have a right to it, but you don’t. Entitlement is wasting something that belongs to someone else. You don’t even know or appreciate the value of what you’re wasting, because you’re spending that which is not yours. Entitlement is preying on the good will of others. Entitlement views the world through what others can do for you, how others can meet your needs. Entitlement is self centric, self serving and demanding without thanks or gratitude or appreciation or recognition. Entitlement is your world revolves around you. Entitlement is you don’t care about others apart from what you can get out of them. Entitlement is a shameless, proud audacity and boldness in taking from others without remorse or care or consideration and feeling justified in doing so, it is the established order after all.

We are so steeped in our entitlement getting what we feel we have a right to is just the order, it’s the way it’s done, it’s expected. May God break that entitled attitude we have. May God break our pride at the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. Repentance is what is lacking in Christianity today, and repentance was the difference between “give me” and “I am not worthy” in this sons life. He could not understand or receive the grace of his father before he repented, before he came to himself.

When will you come to yourself? How far will you have to go in the far country before you finally wake up? Entitlement spends, and wastes, and uses. It’s pig headed, it’s stupid, it’s unthankful, it’s selfish, it’s foolish, it’s arrogant, it doesn’t think or care, it has no remorse, it does not consider… it is ungodly. The solution to entitlement is repentance of sin, recognizing who and what you truly are and where you would and should rightfully get be, but what you can receive, not because you deserve it, but because of God who so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.


Joseph View All →

Hi, my name is Joseph Zadow. I am a 32 y/o Bible Blogger. I was new to blogging once! God’s word is the best thing that we can be given, and once we have it and know it for ourselves it is both a privilege and responsibility to bring it to others! We are blessed to be a blessing! I am a sinner (for sure!) saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ and I am a Lord Jesus Christ follower. He is faithful even though I rarely am to him. I believe the Bible is the word of God, and stake my life on it. My destination is heaven. As they say, I’m just a passin’ through this world… although most of the time it’s more like hangin’ by a thread in Jericho! I love playing sports – particularly cricket… I currently work on an orchard and a side hobby business of mine is growing vegetables etc – they are good for you! I love writing. Always happy to talk, so feel free to leave a comment. You can read more about me and my blog here – :)

1 Comment Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: