What does entering the military, getting a loan, becoming an American president, going to school, buying new clothes, graduating from high school, flying to Argentina, checking out a book at the library, getting a prescription filled at the pharmacy, enjoying a clean house, grocery shopping, and becoming a Christian have in common with one another? Yes, they are all things people do; but even more, they represent things that in order to be experienced must meet certain requirements. The fact is, everything we do in life requires something. Even moving a muscle requires that the brain engages the muscle to move. And, even the brain requires certain things to function. Life and everything in it is filled with requirements.
So, why is the world so infatuated with all things free? Yes, free! “Buy one, get one free!” “Enter a drawing for a free trip to Tahiti!” “Buy our product and get free technical support forever!” You get the idea! There are so many free offers out there. However, you do not have to think long to see that even free things require something. You must buy something, write something, do something in order to receive something free. So, the question arises, is there anything truly free? No! Everything free requires something to receive it. Requirements!
If we know that everything in life requires something in order to get it, where did society come up with the idea of getting something for nothing? Entitlement! Even the sound of it gives me an uncomfortable feeling in the pit of my stomach. The idea of entitlement says, “You owe me!” “Everybody owes me!” “I deserve this!” or, “I deserve that!” We live in the day where so many people depend on the government for help that they have lost all sense of personal responsibility. Many want something for nothing in return. Students want grades without working for it. Workers want to come in late, leave for home early, and still get a full day’s pay.
Do not think for a moment that entitlement stops with the social scene. Move over into the spiritual realm and the results are all too often the same. There is a sense among far too many religious people that they are meant to be served rather than be a servant. Yet, Christianity is about service! It is about giving of self. What was Jesus’ take on the subject? He said, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45 ESV)
Here is just how bad it is among some religious groups. Some believe that once you are saved, you are saved no matter what you do. It is taught among some religious groups that once you are in a relationship with God, your heavenly ticket is punched, so to speak, and nothing can be done to change it. This translates to say that people can live as they wish and still be heaven bound. Spiritual entitlement!
Hopefully, you are thinking that you do not hold to the once saved always saved teaching. If so, then good! But, what are your thoughts about what God requires of you? Does your baptism say to you, “Well, I am good to go; I do not need to do more?” The words of Micah of old are still true today. He said, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8 ESV) Serve God! Serve our King Jesus! Serve the Church! Serve your brothers and sisters! Do not be served! Serve!