Monday, June 13, 2016

When Entitlement Meets Grace

We live in a world that is revealing it is turning more and more inward to self.  One of the ways this appears is the Entitlement mentality we see evidenced by peoples demanding what should be given them and a lack of gratitude for what has already been received previously.  "The world owes me!" is the motto.  Free education...owed to me as my right.  Higher wage.....owed to me because I need it, not because I have done anything to make myself more valuable to my employer.  Healthcare....owed to me as a basic right.

But what happens when entitlement meets grace.  It is an interesting thing when people who live a self centered life demand grace from others.  Grace by it's very definition cannot be deserved or earned.  It cannot be demanded or it ceases to be grace.  Imagine a child demanding a certain gift or they would throw a tantrum.  It would be a foolish parent to encourage such behavior in the future by giving in to the child.  Imagine a teenager demanding a newer car than the one already given.  It would seem a good time to take the keys away or sell the older car and let some time on the yellow bus humble them.

Grace is a gift and gifts stop being gifts when they are demanded, expected, or extorted.  Grace is always out of the generosity of the gift giver, never the merit of the receiver.  It always originates in a heart that desires to bless in a way that shows love beyond what could ever be deserved.  The Grace Guilter always tries to link Grace back to what is obligated and yet by its very definition the two are incompatible.  God actually opposes the proud, but He gives Grace to the humble.  Don't demand grace from God with threats of a "tantrum" if you don't get your way and don't demand grace from others or it will dry up your spirit through the deceitfulness of your own heart.  When Grace meets entitlement resentment grows and so does the further hardening of the heart.  God's grace and His grace shown through others is meant to be the very instrument of humbling a pride filled heart, yet entitlement prevents this beautiful process from bearing anything but more entitlement instead of humility.

Live grace-filled lives today as you reflect on this reality, God does not need to do one more thing for you to deserve your complete and total devotion.  His grace was maxxed out on the cross for you and me.

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