It is one small leap from feelings of gratefulness to feelings of entitlement. One small leap from being grateful to thinking, “I deserve this”.
Gratefulness acknowledges that we are completely undeserving. It acknowledges that something was given to us and we could do nothing to earn it.
Entitlement thinks it is owed to us because we are victims. It sees every grace, every gift as payment for our victimization.
Victims. We’re all victims of something. Victims of our own stupidity, our own misdeeds, or someone else’s. We’ve all had things done to us that we would really rather not. We’ve all been hurt by someone else. Someone else did us wrong and we didn’t like it.
Those who are well acquainted with abuse, because they’ve lived through it, struggle the most with entitlement.
Those that hang on to their victimization, as if their very life depended on it, are those who view every gift, not as a free gift, but as our very due. When we continue to think this way, we relive over and over the victimization we initially experienced. We wallow in it.
And what’s more, we make everyone around us wallow in our victimization as well. We make them see us and treat us as victims. We force them to pay for the wrong done to us when they weren’t the one who victimized us. We tell them, “I’ve had a hard life. Oh you’ll never know the misery I’ve seen. I’ve been done wrong. And now everyone must pay for it.”
And we’re miserable! And they’re miserable!
Victims with a feeling of entitlement are never satisfied. No one can ever pay them enough to satisfy the hatred of their soul. It constantly demands more.
So what can be done about it?
Just simply stop.
We must stop seeing ourselves as the victim. We need to stand up and declare that in Jesus we are no longer victims. We might have been victimized but we aren’t victims of it.
We must take that victim, entitled self to the cross, and declare loud and out-loud that in Jesus’ name and by His power we are putting that self under His blood. Then we have to nail it to the cross, grasp Jesus by the hand and walk away in forgiven freedom.
Then every time our enemy tries to tempt us to again be the victim, we must remember this. That victim is dead.
And we don’t respond to dead things. Dead things have no power over us. Even when it feels like it. We must remember it is dead, and we need to remind ourselves out-loud that it is dead, that we’ve died to it.
We have the power of Jesus coursing through our veins, but we do not have the power to resurrect anything. Not even something that we crucified. None.
And Jesus won’t!
If we persist in our feelings of entitlement through victimization, we miss the grace that Jesus gives for the moment. For this moment. For every moment we choose to accept His free gift of life, knowing we neither earned it nor deserve it.
Every moment we choose gratefulness over entitlement is another moment of living freely in Him. Every second we choose gratefulness over entitlement, we chose life. His life, poured out for us, living in us, living through us for His glory and our good. And His life is not just a good life, it’s the best life.
The life of a victim is death.
So choose Life and lose the victim.