I am wife to a magnificent man and mother to five wonderful children. Three of my children were born in the Northwest and two were born thousands of miles away in Liberia, West Africa. Birthplace is no matter, all of my children were born in my heart. This is our journey.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Entitlement in the garden?

We have been having some issues around here. I know, I know, you all thought we had it together. I'm sorry to pop that fragile bubble, but it's true. We have been trying to put our finger on what the problem is specifically and I think we may be on it's tail.

This morning a child asked to use something. When asked about a certain part of the item I told said child that they may not use that part because it is not finished. It was clear. To the point. Don't use that part.

Am I speaking English? Was that in my head?

Pretty sure it was clear.

Not 5 minutes later, I heard a loud crash. I went to check and was greeted with a child who used the restricted part not attached and it crashed to the floor. Oh, how our sins will find us out. I remember that verse vividly from growing up. We had read a bible story and my parents shared that verse with us and what it meant. I am so glad (not that it always kept me from transgressions, mind you).

It occurred to me that we might be dealing with a sense of entitlement here. An age old problem. Food is being complained about, activities aren't their favorite, boundaries are being tested.

What happened this morning reminded me of Adam and Eve and it got me thinking. Entitlement goes all the way back to the garden. They could have all they wanted of any tree in the garden, except for one. God gave them so many choices but they weren't enough. The serpent convinced them that they were entitled to all God had. Why was He holding back this one tree from them? They chose their own selfish wants in exchange for a relationship with their Creator.

Truly, it is at the core of who we are. What we want is what we want. I deserve a night out because I work so hard. He deserves a break because he works so hard. I deserve that chocolate because I have been eating so well this week. Do we really deserve anything?

We don't. We are not worthy. I receive the gift of my salvation. It is not due me. It is a gift. I have done nothing to earn it.

I am searching myself today to find where I have let entitlement creep in. It all flows downhill, don't ya know? When dealing with issues in my kids, I generally can look in the mirror and see a reflection of the chink in the armor.

When I feel entitled to something, the gift loses it's value. I do not want to take what I have been given for granted. How fun is it to give a gift to a child who thinks they deserve it? How much do I do that to the Father when I take something for granted or complain about what I have?

My prayer for today is this -

God, show me where I have and portray a sense of entitlement in my life that I may choose to drive it out and be content in the lavishness you show me daily.

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