Attitude Adjustment

“Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:26-28, NIV).

Jesus’ words jump off the page as they diverge from what we routinely witness in today’s culture. We see that Jesus had God’s agenda in mind. He knew he would face death on the cross—the ultimate act of service for us. In contrast, I’m observing and reading a lot about entitlement these days. We’re seeing a coddled generation, but how many of us who are older have adapted this same behavior? Are we expecting others to serve us, meeting our perceived needs and demands?

Consider this passage from The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón:

“Sometimes we think people are like lottery tickets, that they’re there to make our most absurd dreams come true.”

As we jockey to promote ourselves and our desires, this sense of entitlement often leads to irritability over minor inconveniences, or when things don’t go our way, or even when we have to wait for something. This, in turn, breeds grumbling, complaining, unkindness, misbehavior, and the list goes on. We are continually dissatisfied; but let’s face it, we will never be content in this life without God.

Scripture counsels us to display Godly character, not self-importance. Allow the Holy Spirit to develop the fruit of the Spirit in your life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (see Galatians 5:22-23). Let’s commit to put into practice 2 Peter 1:5-9 (NIV): “Make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love … But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.” May we not forget this freedom from our sins. And, as we pray for the capability to demonstrate holy behavior, we will witness God’s transformational power in our lives. He will heal our hearts.

In addition to this scriptural admonishment, a recent article, “An Attitude of Gratitude” in The Wall Street Journal, details some of the benefits of having a thankful rather than a demanding heart:

  • Excel at life management
  • Enjoy stronger relationships
  • Exhibit positive social behavior
  • Evince emotional well-being

Do you desire, along with me, to see these blessings in your life? Thankfully, God’s abounding grace offers a way out of our entitled, me-first, others are there to serve me, mentality. As we fall on our faces before our Father, He will stoop down to us, pick us up, and restore us through the blood of Jesus. He served us so we can serve others.

Father God, Forgive me for adopting the entitled mentality which is so prevalent these days. I confess it has affected my attitude, and I seek your transforming and restorative power. Help me to view others as you do and for me to align my wants with your will. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Bible Truths:

Matthew 23:12 (NIV): “For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Ephesians 4:1-2 (NIV): “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”

James 4:6b (NIV): “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”

1 Peter 2:21-24 (NIV): “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. ‘He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.’ When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; ‘by his wounds you have been healed.’”

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