Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
What do you deserve? To what are you entitled?
The term “entitlement” refers to a belief that one is deserving of some particular reward or benefit.
Many scholars have observed that we live in a “culture of entitlement” – that is, most Americans have a sense that they are deserving of something, whether you call it “the good life” or “the American Dream” or “happiness” or some other term. Many people are not even aware that the choices and decisions they make reflect the assumption that there are certain things to which they are entitled.
Christians are not immune to this way of thinking in our everyday life. Unfortunately, sometimes we even let that way of thinking influence our faith life. But if we seriously reflect on it, we realize that God’s gifts of forgiveness and eternal life are not an entitlement we deserve but a gift God has freely given us in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The quote above from Dr. Powell reminds us that the key to a life filled and lived with joy is the constant realization that life itself is a gift from God; faith itself is a gift from God; forgiveness and eternal life are entirely gifts from God.
I am thankful that a spirit of generosity rather than a spirit of entitlement characterizes our life together at Reformation. That spirit is evident in the joy that marks our congregational life.
May you live every day joyfully as you give thanks for the great gifts you have received.
Pastor Wayne Matthias-Long