What is it that makes us feel entitled? We must be born with this tendency. This past week, my toddlers have gone out of their way to try to prove this point. The word “mine” is literally ringing in my ears. They both feel that everything belongs to them personally and that they are free to do as the wish with their things. If they want or need something, they expect the world to stop and cater to them. I would like to say that this type of behavior is something we all eventually outgrow, but I fear that we as adults simply find new “socially acceptable” ways of acting like toddlers.
The other day, my youngest was coloring when she decided to start chewing on the bright red crayon she was using. When I proceeded to take the crayon out of her hand, she yelled, “No! It’s mine!” I responded, “No, it’s mommy’s crayon. I just let you use it. If you’re going to eat it, mommy is going to take the crayon away.” I wondered at that moment if that’s how God sees us sometimes. I wanted to bless my child and let her color (which is her absolute favorite thing to do), but unfortunately there had to be consequences if she was going to misuse what I had given her.
The Bible tells us that all good things come from God (James 1:17). If you really stop to think about it, everything we value in life belongs to Him. My marriage, my kids, and even my own body belong to God.
Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body. – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NLT)
Being a steward is a great responsibility. God expects us to take care of the things He has entrusted us with. Because He purchased us through the death of His only Son, we are God’s most valuable possession. With that being said, God doesn’t just expect us to take care of the things He’s given to us. He expects us to take care of each other. Jesus told the following parable in the book of Matthew:
Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.” Then these righteous ones will reply, “Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?” And the King will say, “I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!” – Matthew 25:34-40 (NLT)
God has placed specific people in our lives. He has entrusted these individuals to us, and He expects us to show them the love of God. I will one day be held accountable for the way I treat my husband, my children, my parents, my friends, my coworkers, and even the people I come into contact with only briefly. Do I show these people the love of God? Or do I misuse them or treat them poorly?
As a parent, I get upset when my daughters misuse their toys that I paid very little for. Jesus paid the ultimate price for us. To Him, we are the most valuable thing in all of Creation. We need to treat each other as such. It’s so easy to beat others down, to be rude, or to make them feel less than valuable.
Jesus died for all. Every person is of great worth to God, and yet we still feel a sense of entitlement. We misuse one another and desire to keep everything for ourselves instead of giving freely to those in need.
Let us see each other the way God sees us and never forget how valuable we truly are in Him.