“But I’m entitled!!”
Have you ever heard someone say this when it was clearly not true? It may not have been with these exact words, but the statement, or focus, was based upon their self-importance? I think I have not only heard it, but have also thought and said it at the most inappropriate times.
There is currently a little boy who believes the entire world revolves around him. He thinks that it is okay to yell at people. He believes that he has no need for anyone else. He could pay his own bills, find his own place to live, find a job and provide for himself in the numerous ways it takes in order to stay afloat. He sometimes demands that he receives immediate attention. He’ll interrupt conversations, throw fits over the foods that are presented to him and will say the rudest things if someone interrupts his gaming sessions. During these gaming sessions, he will yell and complain about the WIFI and the “lagging” that incurs while playing. I truly don’t understand why he continuously only focuses on the negative aspects of his life, blames everyone else for his shortcomings and has evident concern for, mainly, just himself.
My stepson is going through a lot. He has many issues within himself. We are taking all of the steps with the doctors in order to try to figure out how he could have a better life. He is so young and capable of great things. Since hitting puberty, he has become extremely wild. My crazy religious mania in years passed did not help him either. He completely rejects my current words of encouragement and calls me, “so religious.” I cannot get through to him and his mother cannot either. He goes to youth group, but that does nothing. He is slowly killing his mother. A woman who already has enough stress in her life as well as an autoimmune disease. Not to mention, two other kids to raise.
I cannot teach my kid empathy. I cannot get him to realize that all that he has is because his mother and I have made it our priority to provide for our children and to give them all of these comforts that they take for granted. His apathy towards our offerings is disappointing, and what we provide seems to be unappreciated. It hurts his mother and I. She cries about it, and I often times have to take short walks in order to cool down. He is ungrateful.
We are praying for a change.
I was not twelve when my ungratefulness was so evident, but it did occur in my teens and well into my twenties and thirties. I blamed my upbringing. I blamed my environment. I blamed my circumstances. My self-pity was a justified, daily part of existing. I had no reason to change because I truly believed that all of those things were good reason to wallow in my sense of entitlement.
The wisdom found within a healthy fear of the Lord has been the topic of my blog posts lately. I have been meditating on and thinking deeply about the very meaning of both within my personal life. It was not until well into my late thirties did I begin to listen to what God was trying to teach me. Before then, my own voice was the only one I would listen to. It was truly not until a very specific time in my life did my eyes begin to open, my ears begin to hear and my mind begin to respond to Holy Spirit. I don’t know how long His Holy Spirit had been there, but I sure wasn’t listening beforehand. This period of time revealed the wisdom and fear that was crucial to the progressive lessons and knowledge needed in order to reach the current time. I had to shut myself up and listen.
That’s what the wise do. They listen. They walk in awe of the Creator and filter everything through Him. But, no one could have told me that years ago. Everything that entered my life was filtered through ME. I had no fear of a supposed God of judgment. Of justice. Of love. I had no wisdom of all of these truths about our Father because I simply did not take the time to know Him. No prayer. No reading or hearing of His Word. No acknowledgement of Holy Spirit. Just me against the world.
Relying on His wisdom: a source of information not found within my flawed flesh, was the beginning of a fear without fear. What I truly began to fear was my own way. It was the stumbling block. It was my demise. Listening only to myself and justifying my ego trip was the sure way to keep falling back into my own mess. Fearing the Lord on the other hand was established, and very scary at first. Here I was, naked to the God of all creation, and failing Him big time! As I moved through learning the correct nature of Him, the reasoning for His way in Old Testament, the atoning sacrifice, the resurrection and life, I experienced a magnitude of peace and love not ever found within my world beforehand. The selfishness began to fall away. The fruits of His Spirit began to show definition and the heart began to soften. The self-importance took a huge turn. I guess one could say the light of Christ began to shine through my ugly, prideful and selfish ways.
Maybe my kid will change as time passes. I will just continue to pray. I will do my best to bear the fruits and constantly pray for strength to do so.
We aren’t really entitled to anything in this world, I have found. Our pride says we are though. If we could just live within a humbleness, made possible by His wisdom and manifested though a healthy relationship with Him, we could have a pretty good life here. The gifts would be recognized. The service to others would be placed ahead of our self-service and the fruits of the Spirit would be easily shared. We could see that much of what we think we are owed is actually owed to someone else, and owed to God, above all.