Entitled or Thankful?

Published by Nadine McGowan on

Marriage can be hard, and life can get busy.

This weekend, my husband and I decided that we needed a little getaway. A little time together. Away from our schedules, our responsibilities, our little one, our dog, our friends, and our family. We needed time to connect and to reflect. Time to have some fun, and get aligned. So we decided (last minute,) to go away for the weekend to our favorite spot in Northern Michigan.

This morning we took out some time to study Scripture together.  I am embarrassed to admit that we do not do this TOGETHER often enough at home (barely ever, in fact). Life just gets too busy. The schedule is too crowded. We have too much going on. And as I type this, it makes me sad, that we do not make this a higher priority to do together. Because every single time I do this with him, a few things happen for me.  

First of all, I feel closer to him and more connected to him, I experience an intimacy with him that is so meaningful. Another thing that happens for me is I view him differently. I see my husband through different eyes. I see his heart, and his strength. My heart towards him softens, while my respect for him increases. And as I sit here typing this, I am blown away by the fact that all of this happens in a matter of 20 minutes. Finally, what happened for me, is I am changed. This man, that God gave me as my husband has a way of seeing and speaking truth that is so convicting for me.  

Today, we read Ephesians 2:1-10. And he summed it up in a way, I never could have. And the topic of discussion became the word entitlement. So, in my personal quiet time, I looked up the word entitlement.  And here’s the definition I got from a simple Google search:  en·ti·tled (adjective) Believing oneself to be inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment.

WOW! In many ways, that is exactly how I live my life. ENTITLED. This is what I want. This is how I want it. This is why I DESERVE IT. Me. Me. Me. Me. I can see how I am never satisfied and how I always want more and how I deserve more. And what I realized is that I have a choice of how I can live my life. I can live and entitled life or a thankful life, but I cannot do both.

I realized that this is a day-by-day, moment-by-moment decision to see the good, and to find the gratitude.  Knowing that everything I have is a gift from God, and I am to be thankful for what I have vs. demanding and acting like I deserve so much more.  

And as I spent more time contemplating this very thought, I realized that when I am operating with an entitled attitude, I come from a place of lack, and need, I show up as a grumbler. I can see how that attitude has kept me stuck and limited in many areas of my life.

On the other hand, when I am operating with a thankful attitude, I come from a place of abundance, and gratitude, I show up as a joyful person. I can see how living in thankfulness, (how offering my life as a thank offering to God) allows me to live my life peacefully, joyfully, and on purpose.

So, on this thanksgiving weekend, my prayer is that God helps us to live a thankful life, not just every once in a while, but habitually living in gratitude and thankfulness regardless of our circumstances. My prayer is for us to remember that we are not entitled to anything, nor do we deserve anything. Everything we have is a gift to be cherished. If this is your heart’s desire, pray with me.  

“Lord, Help me. I need You. I can not do this without YOU. My nature is to grumble. My nature is to demand and to strive and to feel entitled for more. Quiet my spirit Father. Help me to live in thankfulness. Take away my pride, my greed, my striving, my entitlement, and give me a heart at peace. Give me a heart that is so full of gratitude and love and joy that when people see me, they see You. In Jesus’ name I pray! Amen.”