Have you ever felt like you deserved something and didn’t get it? Maybe you just had that feeling that life is unfair? Did you ask the question, “Why does she get that and not me?” Entitlement has touched most of our lives. I have definitely been face to face with the sin of entitlement. Our human tendency is to try to understand why life is so unfair, and then of course try to make it better. When I get in this rut, I find my first mistake is letting the anger boil inside of me. Instead of asking God what His plan is in the situation, I let my anger explode. That anger evolves into a negative attitude about everything. It wasn’t just that one situation – it was my whole life. I usually cannot shake this miserable feeling. It begins the moment I wake up and continues on with me the entire day. This will continue until I finally take it to prayer. My usual prayer is, “Why God is this happening? Why can’t these people see that this is clearly unfair, unkind and hurtful?”
One particular situation involved my kids. It was hurtful that someone would lash out at my kids, and just like any mom, I was angered and bitter. God’s reply came through a friend. She said to me, “You don’t seem yourself lately. What can I do to help.” That is all I needed. I spewed out the resentment that I had contained for weeks. Instead of offering her advice, she just stared at me. I felt her words in my heart. She never spoke, but I knew what she was thinking. “Let it go. Forgive and release it. Move on.” I love friendships like this. She knew the words would push me farther from her, so with her body language she gave me a clear message.
What I found was I wasn’t entitled to respect, I had to earn it. God was showing me that life is not fair, and I need to find peace with that. I need to model unconditional love to my own children. Most importantly, I needed to find forgiveness in my heart even if it involved my own children. I am not saying that you should sit back and let people walk all over you. My point is that you need to imitate what Christ would do in the situation. Use humility, not power.
I Thessalonians 5:14-18
We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people. Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Do you know what? I realized that this situation while it did make me very angry was not worth the pain I was causing my own family to endure. I had changed into this negative, pessimistic person. No one wanted to be around me. Let’s just say, I was definitely not the person God had called me to be. Thessalonians definitely spoke volumes to me. My friend’s body language gave me the affirmation I needed, and scripture reminded me to forgive others and give thanks to God.
When we pray to God, He may not be the one who gives us the answer. Be open to others helping you through difficult times. My friend knew she didn’t want to participate in my gossip and negativity. She listened and through God she chose the right path to get my attention. She chose the path to heal my soul and remind me that I needed to let this situation go. I love that God used her that day to answer my prayer. And I love that she allowed God to work through her that day!
Would you consider yourself a negative or positive person? Have you had a feeling of entitlement recently? Did you respond negatively or positively about the situation? Did you consider what Christ would have done in that situation? How can you change this angry feeling today and let go and let God?