Entitlement; November 17, 2019

Jeremiah 5:30-31 “A horrible and shocking thing
has happened in the land:
The prophets prophesy lies,
the priests rule by their own authority,
and my people love it this way.
But what will you do in the end?”

Reading this I am reminded of something I’ve read just recently: “People get the government they deserve.” That isn’t necessarily true, but it’s more true than we like to admit. We are so often blind to our own sins and mistakes. I recently ran across a list, published in a Christian magazine, of things that shock missionaries when they return to their home country. I posted it to a Facebook group of MKs (missionary kids), and got a lot of response. At the moment I don’t remember if it was in the original list or in a comment to my post, but one item seems to me to be a close parallel to this passage: “A fat-cat entitlement mentality.” In a generally affluent society, whether someone is “well off” or not, they tend to think they deserve to be rich. If they are, they take it for granted, and if they aren’t, they resent that fact, sometimes bitterly. That might be expected in the world, but we see it so much in the Church! As God has Jeremiah say here, the spiritual leaders too often let go of their mooring in God and His Word, and the people in the pews seem to be fine with that! He isn’t specific here, but He makes it very clear the outcome won’t be good at all. We need to be honest in looking at ourselves, allowing the Holy Spirit to shine His light into all the dark corners and do whatever house cleaning is necessary. Especially those in church leadership need actively to seek accountability, having someone who is free to speak into their lives with complete honesty. Failure in that area in leadership affects many, so those under leadership need to require faithfulness in their leaders, as well as in themselves.

As a pastor, I’m talking to myself here. I’ve got to keep watch that my own heart is open to the fullness of God’s Word, applying every bit of it to my own life. God has enabled me to see issues such as this in the world around me, but I must not be blind to how they have taken root in my own heart and life. I too can have a fat-cat mentality! I need to live each moment in humility and gratitude, recognizing that I exist only by the grace of God. I am to seek to make the use God intends of everything He gives me, whether tangible or intangible, as a good steward, recognizing His ownership of it all. I really am incredibly blessed, and I need to recognize that to the core of my being. Only then will I be effective in leading others into intimacy with their Creator.

Father, thank You for this reminder. I am so quick to forget that Your blessings are grace! Thank you for the healing I’ve experienced in the mouth ulcer on my lip, and for how much better my tongue is where I bit it yesterday morning. I don’t think about the blessings of a lack of pain until I have pain! Thank You that the two families returned safely from Hong Kong last night. Conditions there should help me be grateful for conditions here! Keep me sensitive to Your Spirit at all times, Lord, so that You may receive all the glory for all that You do. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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