Good or bad?
When the Lord first spoke this word to me, years ago, I had to look up its meaning. He was explaining the behavior of someone to me, so I could understand what was causing it. Dictionary definition: The belief that one is inherently deserving of privilege or special treatment.
Is entitlement a good thing?
“Entitlement is rarely viewed as a positive quality. But a recent study finds that a sense of entitlement can lead to one surprisingly positive outcome—increased creativity. Entitled people are unapologetic about getting what they want, when they want it, without regard for anyone else.”
There are two negative attributes to the above definitions and clarifications of entitlement: The first one is the word “inherent”. In order words, the person believes that they are entitled to certain things just because they exist. It is not based on biblical principles or God’s promises. The second is “without regard for anyone else.” This outlook on life is not love based.
This is what someone wrote online about their experience with entitlement:
“I have realized in the last year that entitlement is the destroyer of happiness. It means imposing our own preconceptions on reality instead of being receptive and adapting to life as it happens. It means closing our options and seeing things in a limiting way. Entitlement leads to dissatisfaction, and its opposite, openness, leads to flexibility and capacity to appreciate life. To feel entitled is to feel tough, demanding, controlling in order to make life conform to a preconceived idea of what it should be. For example, I was very unhappy for having bad internet while traveling, because I was expecting to get decent connectivity like I have at home. This was stupid – why cling on the idea that I should have a certain level of internet speed? Is that really essential to my happiness? Not really, I just generated a lot of bad feelings for nothing. This happens all the time. I just needed to monitor myself and counter these entitlement moments as soon as they appear. Accept everything, find what is good in it. That leads to much more consistent happiness.”
Philippians 4:11 “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Paul goes on to write: Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.
The conclusion of the matter is: entitlement just because a person exists, based on their own belief that nothing negative should ever happen to them, will rob them of happiness. Faith in God and His promises. Standing on God’s promises and thereby expecting good outcomes, yet learning to be happy, grateful, joyful in whatever state we find ourselves, will enable us to live more satisfying lives.