An Entitlement Attitude Makes It Impossible To Be Happy

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The best way to get over a greedy, self-serving "I deserve it" entitlement attitude is to stop thinking about ourselves and start caring for others.

Entitlement is 1) the condition of having the right to have, do, or get something 2) the feeling or belief that you deserve to be given something. 

Entitlement is the Opposite of Gratitude.

It is a greedy, self-serving “I deserve it” attitude about life.

What do you and I deserve?

I turned to the internet, where I found…

1. You deserve love.
2. You deserve happiness.
3. You deserve peace and comfort.
4. You deserve better.
5. You deserve a house, a car, and stuff.
6. You deserve to do what you want.

Entitlement says, “I want what I want, and I want it now.”  

I deserve what I want.

There is a Problem with Entitlement

The only guaranteed outcome from an entitled way of thinking is dissatisfaction and unhappiness.

Read that again…

[Tweet “The only guaranteed outcome from an entitled way of thinking is dissatisfaction and unhappiness.”]

As long as you and I fixate on what we think we deserve, we will never enjoy the satisfaction and happiness we really need or want.

So let’s take a minute to see what we really deserve…

What does the Bible say we really deserve?

And Jesus said, “The things that come out of people are the things that make them unclean. All these evil things begin inside people, in the mind: evil thoughts, sexual sins, stealing, murder, adultery, greed, evil actions, lying, doing sinful things, jealousy, speaking evil of others, pride, and foolish living. Mark 7:20–23

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it. James 4:17

Everyone has sinned and fallen short of God’s glorious standard, and all need to be made right with God by His grace, which is a free gift. They need to be made free from sin through Jesus Christ. Romans 3:23

The best way to get over a greedy, self-serving "I deserve it" entitlement attitude is to stop thinking about ourselves and start caring for others.

Thank God, He Doesn’t Give Us What We Deserve!

But if we confess our sins, He will forgive our sins, because we can trust God to do what is right. He will cleanse us from all the wrongs we have done. 1 John 1:9

Sin once used death to rule us, but God gave people more of His grace so that grace could rule by making people right with Him. And this brings life forever through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 5:21

For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was His plan from before the beginning of time—to show us His grace through Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 1:9

Aren’t you thankful God doesn’t give us what we really deserve?

It’s time to kick entitlement to the curb. 

What is the answer to getting over entitlement?

Complete and humble gratitude offered to the One who has given us more that we could ever ask or imagine.

Christ’s love is greater than anyone can ever know, but I pray that you will be able to know that love. Then you can be filled with the fullness of God. With God’s power working in us, God can do much, much more than anything we can ask or imagine. To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus for all time, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:19-21

[Tweet ““Grace destroys entitlement.” ~Justin Buzzard”]

The best way to get over a greedy, self-serving "I deserve it" entitlement attitude is to stop thinking about ourselves and start caring for others.

It’s time to spend ourselves on others in response to God’s gift of grace.

The best way to get over living with a  greedy, self-serving “I deserve it” entitlement attitude is to stop thinking about ourselves and start caring for others.

And I [Paul] have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: “It is more blessed to give than to receive. Acts 20:35

“If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame.” Isaiah 58:9b-11a

Gratitude is thankfulness in action.

Remember this quote…

Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts.” –Henri Frederic Amiel

The Blessing of Gratitude in Action

Gratitude leads to contentment and happiness.

And don’t you want to be content and happy?

Have you ever met anyone with an entitlement attitude who’s happy?

No? Me either.

It’s impossible to be happy when we are focused on ourselves.

The marketing world wants us to believe we will be happy if we get what we want but the truth is that happiness is found in being thankful for what we have.

And in Jesus, we have everything we need.

My God will use His wonderful riches in Christ Jesus to give you everything you need. Glory to our God and Father forever and ever! Amen. Philippians 4:19–20

Because of Jesus, we can believe every promise God made.

 For Jesus Christ, the Son of God, does not waver between “Yes” and “No.” He is God’s ultimate “Yes,” He always does what He says. For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for His glory. 2 Corinthians 1:19a,20

That’s reason enough to be grateful.

The best way to get over a greedy, self-serving "I deserve it" entitlement attitude is to stop thinking about ourselves and start caring for others.

So…

If you want to be happy –  kick entitlement to the curb.

If you want your children to be happy – kick entitlement to the curb.

People who believe they are entitled . . . compare and focus on what they’re lacking.

Appreciative people are happy; they see the beauty in life while others miss it. ~Richard Carlson

May we kick entitlement to the curb by living with gratitude every day.

  • Thank God for giving you everything you need in Christ Jesus.
  • Thank God for graciously meeting your physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.
  • Thank God by spending yourself by caring for the needs of those less fortunate. (And for most of us, there is always someone less fortunate.)

One last quote to think about…

“When we replace a sense of service and gratitude with a sense of entitlement and expectation, we quickly see the demise of our relationships, society, and economy.” ~Steve Maraboli

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10 thoughts on “An Entitlement Attitude Makes It Impossible To Be Happy

  1. With you, Deb, I am so, so grateful that God doesn’t give us what we truly deserve. So thankful for Jesus’ saving grace!
    Unfortunately, an air of entitlement permeates today’s culture and society. May we all pray to have a gratitude attitude instead.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. What the world says we deserve and what we actually deserve are very different things! I’m so grateful for God’s GRACE in lavishing us with His blessing where we deserve punishment and sorrow. Thanks for this reminder to not have an entitled heart! So beautifully written, as always, my friend. <3 HUGS!

  3. Oh, what a great and a convicting word, Deb!
    Thank you for sharing this post.
    And, you are so right – we can’t be entitled and grateful at the same time.
    Hope you have a blessed day~

  4. We live in an entitlement-centered society. I live in NYC and I would call it the Entitlement capital of the world. What I see in kids today is appalling.

    I am so grateful God doesn’t give me what I deserve yet he is so faithful to always give me what I need. Entitlement and gratitude go together like oil and water.

  5. My most unhappy moments in life were when I was focused only on myself. I am really working on teaching this lesson to my two daughters. When we focus on others, we leave space in our heart for joy and peace to reign. This is such a biblical way of thinking, yet incredibly contrary to our world system. Way to swim up stream, Deb!

  6. As usual Deb, very well said!
    Thank you a wonderful wake up call.
    It’s so easy to mix entitlement with parenting. But that never works.
    Hugs,
    Em

  7. So convicting. I hate it when my focus lingers too long on my own self, but focus can be difficult to redirect. I often hear the very same verse (Phil. 2:4) in my own mind that I quoted quite often to my kids when they were younger. 🙂 Thanks for linking up with Literacy Musing Mondays!

  8. Wow, Deb! Yes, yes, yes! I think every young person should have a copy of this as they are handed their diploma – lol 🙂 There is so much struggle and disappointment with an attitude of entitlement. Entitlement is filled with lies. Thank you so much for this brilliant message of hope! Love you!
    Lori

  9. Self is a toxic emotion, we live in a culture of self-ism, me, me, me.
    My daughter asked me a couple of weeks ago to give her several dollars so she could buy me a nice Christmas gift – I declined…. but she insisted that I give her almost a hundred dollars. I ended up giving her sixty…..anyway she came home with a gift for me the cost of about 10.00 and spent the remaining 50.00 on herself. I told her people who are wrapped up in their self make a very small package. I was saddened, but my heart will go on. Love your Blog – Dodi

    1. Dodi, I’m so sorry that happened. I’m praying it is immaturity and that the Lord will give her the guidance she needs to learn they is so much more joy in giving than she will ever find in the momentary satisfaction she gets from stuff. Thank you for your kind encouragement about this space. May your celebration of our Savior’s birth be sweet and full of blessings!

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