Entangled By Entitlements

imageAllowing ourselves to believe this life owes us anything sets unrealistic expectations of fairness that only fuels our feelings of frustration and discontentment. For it’s been correctly stated that gratitude begins where entitlement ends. Thankfully, God’s word directs us on how we can best break the entanglements entitlement can create in order to experience a fulfilled life centered in Christ:

Seek: Clearly, we seek what we desire – and if we aren’t careful, this may become more possessions, more pleasures, more promotions and/or more power. Granted, these things aren’t necessarily wrong and God may even provide them in time, but our ultimate desire and pursuit must always be Christ-centered, rather than self-centered (Matthew 6:33). When Christ is first, we begin to see whatever we have and/or are given as gifts to steward and whatever we don’t have as opportunities to trust in His timing and perfect intent.

Steward: A steward is defined as a person who manages another’s possessions and/or affairs. With this in mind, how do we handle the time, talents, treasures and testimony we’ve been given? God does not provide us with such responsibilities in order to overwhelm our worries and workload. Instead, He desires to shift our self-reliance to Christ-reliance. This means we seek His direction over our own (Luke 16:10). As a result, He becomes responsible for helping us with all He’s entrusted to us. Just consider – how many things might have been done differently if we had only sought God’s guidance first?

Serve: Just as the Bible tells of the donkey that was untied and freed from his earthly master to serve Christ’s purposes, we are likewise untangled and freed from the mastery of sin to serve God in all we do. Yet, do we respond to this gift by living for Christ and for His glory, or to win the praises and promotions of man? To desire praises over Christ is to be as foolish as that donkey coveting the praises given to Jesus as he served his duty in carrying Christ into Jerusalem (Luke 19:35). Rather, may we always rejoice in simply having the blessed opportunity to participate in any of His purposes.

Application: “Loosed Living?” – Philippians 2:8
Even though we are no longer bound by sin as Christians, there remains a continuous battle to restrict our impact and witness for the Kingdom. For if we fix our eyes on self, others and the world, we will no doubt become entangled with pride, worry, fear, discontentment and selfishness. However, when we focus on Jesus, He frees us from the chains designed to stifle us. As a result, His desires become our desires and we are empowered to humble ourselves in obedience so that we can avoid the various impostors biding for our devotions.

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