You owe me!
Ready “Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honor.” -Proverbs 18:12
Set It appears that the sports world has been overtaken with the “somebody-owes-me-something-because-I-am-somebody” attitude. The big 10-dollar word for that attitude is “entitlement.” It is the belief that we deserve some reward or benefit because of who we are. Somehow we think everyone owes us, and that we owe nothing in return. If you watch SportsCenter, it sometimes sounds more like CrimeCenter. So many athletes think they can do anything they want—that they are above the law. Entitlement affects everyone, including you and me. It’s not just the big-time athletes. And the sin of entitlement is very dangerous. Satan will trick us into thinking we have certain rights. If Satan can make the sin of entitlement look like normal behavior and not so evil, then he can get a major foothold in our lives. It is a subtle sin that most wouldn’t even call sin. It’s one that others see in us, but that we rarely see in ourselves. Today’s culture breeds entitlement thinking, even in the church. Supposedly, if we have our daily devotions, go to church, help the old lady across the street and pray before our games, then God should at least make sure that we will win our games, play great and shower us with blessings. We think God owes us for all that we are doing for Him. We think that God needs to hook us up because we have done our part. In Scripture, the apostle Paul stated that if anyone was entitled to privilege it was him. However, even with his Hebrew heritage and incredible obedience to the Law, he said in Acts 20:23, “I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me.” Paul took the hard road, not the easy road he could have taken. As he went out to start the church, he never thought people owed him anything, even the people he was serving. It is refreshing to be around athletes and coaches who could easily have the entitlement attitude but who refuse. Whether they are in the pros, college or high school, these competitors bring glory to Christ by acknowledging that it’s about Him, not them. While the world may bow down to them, they bow down to Another—One who is far greater than they are. When we accept the fact that faith in Christ grants us the greatest entitlement of all—being called children of God (1 John 3:1)—then that is what truly becomes sufficient for us. As athletes and coaches, entitlement doesn’t have to mark us. When we are clothed with humility, we will not fall to the sin of entitlement. Today, remember that nobody owes us anything. We are nothing without Christ. As competitors who compete for God’s glory, let’s play and live with humility.
Go 1. How would you define entitlement? Do you struggle with the sin of entitlement? 2. Why do we often feel that people owe us something? Why do we feel that God owes us something? 3. What is the best way to make sure that you do not fall to the sin of entitlement? 4. Name an athlete or coach you know who has not suffered from entitlement attitude. What of their characteristics can you emulate in your own life?
Workout Ephesians 4:1-3 Philippians 2:1-4 Colossians 3:12-17 1 John 3:1
Overtime "Lord Jesus Christ, I ask for a heart filled with humility. Forgive me for the times when I feel like somebody owes me something. I confess that I sometimes feel like You owe me something. Cleanse me of the sin of entitlement, Lord. Clothe me with humility. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.”
1 John 3