Entitlement

I sat down on the couch with a stack of bills and paperwork that needed to be sorted, paid, and filed away while my boys (yes boys….I just love knowing there are now two of them) are napping and my sweet girl is reading bedtime stories to her babies. I got through just the first envelope in my pile before getting distracted by the other responsibilities around our house that are looming before me..

The load of laundry in the dryer that needs to be folded and put away
The kids highchairs that need to be wiped down from breakfast
The Fisherprice Little People that have been hidden for me all around the living room
The vacuum that needs to be emptied before I can suck up all the crumbs from snack cups being carried around all morning by two toddlers.

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The list continues…..indefinitely it seems.

And as I am sitting here creating this mental list of my responsibilities I can feel the tight cord of entitlement that has woven itself so firmly around my heart begin to tug away at my contentment.

And for a brief moment I can’t seem to understand what exactly I am feeling entitled to. I pause in a momentary lapse of self-deception until I allow myself to admit that this entitlement is deeply rooted in my own pride…and what I find myself really longing for is my own glory and greatness.

I have convinced myself that I deserve to be recognized for all the diaper changing, kitchen cleaning, and child training that I have endlessly poured myself into as a mother. But what it truly comes down to is my selfish heart contending for supremacy with a Holy God… and I am sickened by this wretched condition of my soul.

Entitlement is a sickness that takes laughter and turns it into bitterness.
Entitlement takes sacrifice and service and exchanges it with demands.
Entitlement chokes out delight and smothers it under a cloud of expectations.

And today entitlement has found its way into my heart.

I so foolishly believe that I know what is best for me and deserve to have the best. But deep down I know that if I was steadfast in making the cross the center of my life there would be no room for entitlement. A true assessment of my life under the shadow of the cross would shout, “You put your Savior there! You deserve only the suffering and death that Christ rescued you from! Apart from Christ’s sacrifice on your behalf you are nothing!”

Until I dedicate myself to the faithful and constant reflection of the twin realities of God’s glory and my own sinful condition there is no room for humility…and humility is the only cure for entitlement.  And so I fall to my knees asking God to protect me from my pride and to give me the grace to cultivate a spirit of humility.

Humility lets go of any need for self-recognition and devotes itself towards rendering God praise.
Humility teaches us to lose ourselves and surrender to God who longs for us to discover the joy of serving Him in contented obedience.

And yet again a choice is before me. I can choose to live each day unsatisfied because of the numerously thankless tasks that fill my time, or I can choose to embrace the gift of this beautiful, holy work I have been called to as a mother.

As I consider these days of cheerios, endless laundry, nursing around the clock, and playing, laughing, and learning with small children I choose to thank God for the privilege He has given me of caring for these little hearts. When I think through the work that God is doing in and through me and my tiny disciples it doesn’t matter if 98% of the work He has called me to goes unnoticed. Why is that?

Because I believe in a God who is never done teaching me how to become less of myself and more of Him. And I believe with every ounce of my being that the further down this road toward humility I travel the more fully I will experience the most profound joy as I surrender the glory that I often times try to wrap my own tight fists around to the God who alone truly deserves it. And it is only on this road that my worldly understanding of greatness can be redefined…a greatness that is only attainable through the cross where my pride was put to death and must be put to death daily.

“…But whoever would be great among you must be your servant.” Mark 10:43

What a great privilege that God has called me to be a behind the scenes, bathroom-cleaning, dinner-making, nose-blowing, book-reading, bill-sorting servant for His glory! And even through the weary sick days, brother biting sister days, and don’t know what to make for dinner days I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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