Dealing with Feeling Entitled
Have you ever been around someone who always thought you should do more for them no matter how much you did? This is called “entitlement”. This person genuinely thinks: “I deserve better;” “I deserve more;” “I deserve to have fun;” “People should take care of me;” “I deserve it all.” “And you are obligated to give all of this to me!”
It’s maddening to be around people like this. It doesn’t matter that you can’t provide what they are asking. A teen may demand that their parents buy them the latest and greatest game system. A husband may demand that his wife tell him how wonderful he is over and over to prove her love for him. A wife may barrage her husband to buy things which she says will make her happy. A friend may demand all of your free time to prove you are a good friend.
Entitlement is rooted in a lack of contentment, otherwise known as coveting. It is feeling dissatisfied regardless of how much more a person achieves or receives. The Apostle Paul learned over time to be content. He wrote, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. But my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:11-13, 19
What was his secret? It was his union and intimacy with Christ Himself. In Christ, we have been given more than we need. As Chris Tomlin’s song says, “All of You is more than enough for all of me. For every thirst and every need.” Christ is the fountain of our contentment. Does that mean it is wrong to want things or good relationships? Of course not! God is the One “Who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” 1 Timothy 6:17. Only when we are content on the inside can we truly enjoy what we have on the outside. That is why we share over and over in our ministry that Christ is our Life. (Colossians3:4)
Entitlement is sinful. And it is a sin we died to when we died with Christ on the cross and were raised with Him. (Romans 6:6-7) Our identity in Christ is that of a content person. Reality is, If any of us have been living with an entitlement attitude, feeling as though everyone owes us, even God, it’s time to get honest with ourselves and with God. We are living according to the flesh! We get honest with God and agree with Him about this and receive the forgiveness that is already ours in Christ. Then we may need to surrender to God the “right” we’ve held to, thinking we deserve more and better.
If you are living with a person who feels entitled, don’t enable them through your codependence. You are not responsible for their happiness. And you can’t make them happy any way, no matter how much you try to do for them.
You can rely on your relationship with Christ in you to liberate you from the patterns of entitlement or codependence. If you would like help in knowing whether you feel entitled or even codependent, complete this sentence. “For me to live is _______________”. Any answer other than “Christ” is telling. If you would like to talk with someone, one of our counselors can help you, in one of our 5 offices or long distance by Skype. Contact us for a consultation at 704.522.9026. We would love to help you.