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99% of People Make this Serious Mistake...

Consider a guy who has worked at a company for about 3 years now in a labor job. During that period, he obtains his Master's degree. He then goes to his boss and tells him that with the new qualification, he will like to have a raise. Do you think the boss will give him that raise? If you were the boss, will you? He probably won’t get a raise because his degree doesn’t change his job description. He’s still needed for the same labor job that didn’t require a Master’s degree in the first place. Now, this guy could either continue or decide to quit because he believes he deserves more. What would you do if it were you?

Let's say you have to take a national competitive exam which is quite challenging. Only 100 people will be selected. So, you spend 6 months studying for it. Fortunately, you pass the exam and are selected. If your friends congratulate you and say that you deserve it, how will you respond? Do you deserve it?

Most people will say they deserve it, after all you did study for 6 months right. However, you’re forgetting that several other people studied for this same exam and they didn’t make it. In fact, some probably studied harder than you did. So why did you make it and they didn’t? Is it because you’re special? Probably not. Is it because you’re better than them? Again, you can’t assume that. What you can say for sure is that you were favored. You got it by the grace of God.

What is Entitlement?

It's a common mistake for people to believe that they deserve something for some reason; that’s entitlement or feeling entitled. Entitlement according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is the feeling of having a right to something, or the amount to which a person has a right to something. the belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment. It's a mistake that has existed from time immemorial and it has devastating consequences which we shall see in the coming paragraphs.

Someone once shared a job opening on a WhatsApp group. It was an accountant position with a salary of 250,000F/month. It required experience. One person commented that a salary of only 250,000F with experience is small... And I thought to myself: "Can you pay that kind of money?" The truth is that someone out there needs this money. If it seems small for you, there are others who will gladly take it. That's entitlement right there. You feel you're entitled to a huge salary because you have experience.

What are the Consequences of Entitlement?

  • It's because of entitlement that people think that salaries are small for them.

  • It's because of entitlement that people won’t say thank you to someone’s act of service because they think it's the person's job. After all they’re paid to do it right??

  • It's because of entitlement that people keep playing the lottery and losing money, expecting to make it big

It's because of entitlement that you may not appreciate the little things that your spouse does. That's why you'll hear statements in couple's counseling such as: "I invested a lot in this relationship... where's my return?"... So, someone owes you now?? That’s one of the fundamental reasons why people divorce.

It's because of entitlement that people want success without doing any work. That's why get rich quick schemes keep selling. That's why "ponzi" schemes keep buying ads online as people like looking for shortcuts to success. There is no shortcut to success.

It’s because of entitlement that Cameroonians reacted the way they did after the defeat against Egypt during the semi-finals of the AFCON 2021. We felt entitled to the championship just because we were the host nation. What if we rather encouraged the team after the defeat instead of insulting them? After all failure is part of the journey to success.

How Entitlement destroys our Relationships

1. Ungratefulness

When you feel entitled to something, you tend to appreciate it less. Entitlement means you deserve it so why show appreciation?? The Israelites complained in the wilderness instead of being grateful to God for delivering them from slavery (Numbers 11:4-6). On several occasions they mentioned wanting to go back to Egypt. Of course, those complaints had consequences. All those who complained died in the wilderness. Ungratefulness is also common in our relationships. When you feel entitled to certain treatment, you tend not to appreciate it. I need not mention how that will affect your relationship

2. Contempt

The next immediate consequence is contempt. Familiarity breeds contempt. The more familiar we are with someone, the less we tend to value them; it happens unconsciously. We appreciate the person less. You take the person for granted. If you’re not careful, pride and arrogance steps in. You begin to feel superior to them. It's because of contempt that we appreciate strangers more than our own. Jesus was rejected by his own out of contempt (Matt 13:53-58). If Jesus, God himself experienced contempt and rejection from his own, then what more of us? We have these tendencies to take those close to us for granted; your mum, brother, sister, friend, etc. Could it get any worse?

3. Loss of Relationships

Contempt is a downward spiral. If it continues, the relationship will someday end. Jesus’ own community didn’t benefit from what He had to offer them. He did no mighty works there because of their unbelief, as they rejected him. No one wants to be belittled. No one wants taken for granted. We all desire to be appreciated. Once the appreciation stops, so does the relationship. That's why you've lost touch with certain people in your life.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. You need not wait until you’ve lost someone only to start regretting. We just need to be intentional about valuing and appreciating the people in our lives.

How Entitlement is affecting the church

It’s because of entitlement that we continue sinning on the pretext that Grace abounds.

It's because of entitlement that everyone in church wants to be the preacher at the front and no one want to be an usher behind. Not everyone was meant to preach. No servant of God is greater than the other. You ought to serve diligently wherever you are. (1 Cor 12:14-16, 18-20).

It's because of entitlement that you see churches everywhere claiming to be authentic churches. Everyone wants to be a Pastor, or Prophet or an Apostle. There are all sorts of so-called Pastors preaching unwholesome messages. It's such churches that are ruining the reputation of the Body of Christ.

A good example is the prophecies that came out of how Egypt will win the AFCON 2021. But, Senegal won! What happened? These are people who just feel entitled to being a Prophet; who just want to take advantage of trends to promote themselves. It’s people like these who make Christianity look like a religion. How does such a prophecy edify the church in the first place? Are prophecies not supposed to come true?

It's because of entitlement that people won't pray until something bad happens, and then expect God to act on their behalf. If someone ignores you for years and then suddenly comes to you for assistance, will you be encouraged to help? Just as you will like that person to maintain a relationship with you, God also desires us to consistently be in communication with Him, through prayer, studying and meditating on the Word.

Entitlement is like a highly infectious virus that you have to guard against with all intentionality. Now that you know the dangers of entitlement, you can do something about it. You can choose humility and appreciation over entitlement. Appreciate those little things you spouse does. Value the people in your life. Do those little things for others too. Living is giving, to live is to give. Entitlement focuses on what you can receive, which is selfish. What if you focus on what you can give? If everyone focuses on giving, then no one will have to worry about receiving bc we will all receive.

Thank you for reading this piece and we hope you were edified. Please let us know your thoughts in the comments and share this to bless someone too. Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to our blog for more enriching content. BESTech remains your BEST bet.

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