2016-01-13 - Entitled
What do you think of when you see the word entitled? Other synonyms for it are the words qualified and authorized. The verb when combined with an object, according to dictionary.com, means to give a person or thing a title, right or claim to something; giving a name or title to someone. It comes from the old French word “intituler” and the Latin word “titulus”; both meaning title. Most often, you see it in reference to someone having a certain job, elected or otherwise, and there is mention of certain perks they are entitled to receive due to having that position. It is also associated with receiving benefits of some sort, such as disability or even with a type of insurance. If you are part of such programs, it entitles you to certain benefits. So generally the word entitled is not a bad thing, but a description of something we all experience at some point, on some level.
Unfortunately the word entitled has also developed into another more common circumstance you may have also experienced personally or otherwise. And it becomes a problem when people think they should receive benefits of anything, just for existing or drawing breath and not always having put forth any effort, followed rules on services intended to be temporary, or making some sort of contribution to what they are now receiving. I thought about that when watching professional sports recently. Specifically, my thoughts went to when I was a child and there seemed to be a sense of being honored to play football or basketball, and being part of something bigger than self, and it being a privilege to be part of a team. A man I admired watching play football as a kid was charismatic, seemed larger than life and was an excellent tailback for the Pittsburgh Steelers (Rocky Bleier). Behind the scenes, not often discussed as frequently, was the fact that after being drafted to the NFL he was called up to serve in Vietnam, like so many others. He served bravely, was injured in battle and then told he would likely never play again. Like so many people told they might “never,” he did anyway, coming home and after healing, returned for another twelve years before retiring. All but the last year were with the Steelers. He served his country honorably, and used his gifts on the battlefield and then on the football field, all with an heir of dignity reminiscent of a man feeling blessed to have the opportunity - rather than one feeling owed. How sad to live life feeling like someone who is entitled without cause. And there are so many varied reasons for it, with some of them being the result of tragic circumstances beyond the control of those feeling it. Yet in many cases, these days, it seems more prevalent that it’s just because people take things for granted, not having been part of something bigger than themselves, because they are focusing on just themselves.
We need to remain focused, and the end game is eternity. Yes, we need to take care of ourselves, and there’s nothing wrong with receiving benefits of different kinds. But when we start thinking we deserve things, with little thought of others, and the fact we are here to impact the world around us, then something needs to change. Sacrifices have been made on our behalf, by so many serving in different capacities, and ultimately by a Savior who gave his all for us. He died that we might be entitled to live with him forever. That’s the best entitlement program I’ve ever known. And if not for the breath of life and the salvation plan to follow, none of us would be here at all, or have any hope. I am so grateful for my Father’s heavenly entitlement program.
“… So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.” (Hebrews 9:28 NIV)
All scripture references from KJV (King James Version) unless otherwise noted