Three Ways To Reject Entitlement and Reclaim a Heart of Abundance

I’ve never seen barns so full while hearts are so empty.  Never believed one could have everything and nothing at the same time. Yet they do.  We do.

 

Scarcity is all around us. In the middle of a field of crops so big and wide and deep, souls everywhere are starving, empty, hopeless. 

 

I see it in our schools. I see it in our communities.  I see it in our homes.

 

Hearts that scream,

 

I want…

 

I need…

 

I deserve…

 

Only the best…

 

Give me now…

 

We have so much, yet we are filled so little.  Like God’s telling us time and again that the only thing worth filling our souls with is the infinite presence of His love.  The gift of Himself.

 

We have so much, yet we are filled so little. Like God’s telling us time and again that the only thing worth filling our souls with is the infinite presence of His love. The gift of Himself.Click To Tweet

 

For anyone who has felt the emptiness of entitlement and who longs for something more!

 

Most of us are less concerned with His presence and more concerned with His presents. 

 

We are.  We have become entitled. And it’s not just our kids. We grownups want to be happy, we are driven to be happy. We think the phrase, ‘happiness is next to Godliness’ is somewhere in the Bible and we settle our hearts on a never-ending claim to possess it, meanwhile throwing out any notion of searching for, leaning in, clinging on, to the One thing that will speak to us the truth .  His truth. His directions for how we should live, love, lead, and work. 

 

We merely cry out for Him to bless our mess. 

 

And we wonder why our hearts are empty.  We wonder why we don’t experience the abundance we desire so much.

 

Beloved, there is a difference between knowing who Christ is in our heads and knowing who He is as the Savior and Lord of our hearts.  Do we even know what Lordship means?  Do our kids?

 

We want the kinship without the Kingship.  The rights of salvation without the responsibility of salvation.  The life of entitlement without the way of the cross.

 

We live lives of abundance, but our hearts are often barren, scarce.  Entitlement robs us of faith and leaves us emptied of soul and spirit.

 

Here are three ways we can reject entitlement in our hearts and our homes, and fill our lives with hope, abundance, and most of all peace.

 

 

Discipline our minds with truth.

 

We must learn to filter the thoughts in our minds that tell us lies about who we are or what we deserve. Minds filled with truth recognize our pitiful position as well as our desperate need for our Father.  Minds filled with truth leave us both humbled and grateful for every good gift that comes our way.

 

The truth is,

 

I want, but I don’t need…

 

I need, but I can trust His hand and His timing…

 

I don’t deserve anything but eternal separation from God…

 

Only my best, is what I desire to give God and give others…

 

My soul waits upon the Lord.  He is faithful…

 

 

2 Cor 10:5 (NIV) tells us that, We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

 

Phil 4:8 (NIV) adds, Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

 

To read more about what will fill us, read, The Only Remedy For the Hole Inside Our Hearts!

Fuel our destiny with responsibility.

 

We have robbed our children of their God-given destiny because, in our efforts to remove their struggle, we have removed their responsibility.

 

We all need responsibility. Personal responsibility.  We need to understand directly the consequences of our actions and feel the fire that is sparked when the work of our hands meets God’s cadence and divine destiny awakens in every cell of our being.

 

That, my friends, is exciting!  Passion and purpose rarely strike like lightning out of nowhere.  They are cultivated, nurtured, like the five virgins who carefully and wisely prepared their lamps for the Bridegroom to arrive. (Matt 25:1-13)

 

How are you nurturing your destiny?  Are you sitting back, waiting for destiny to greet you at your door, are you blaming others for its seeming delay, or are you preparing for its arrival with hard work, faithfulness, diligence and perseverance?

 

Do whatever is in front of you today.  Do it well. Give God your best and your destiny will be blessed and bountiful.

 

Col 3:23-24 (NIV) teaches, Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

 

Infuse our hearts with gratitude.

 

A grateful heart is an abundant heart.  Hearts that grumble and complain are never happy.  Eyes that envy and seek their own satisfaction are rarely ever satisfied.

 

Wherever you are today, you can claim abundance.  Want to be full?  Start by listing the things for which you are grateful.  Want to be rich?  Start by thanking God for His gracious blessings in your life.

 

Do it and see what happens. 

 

1 Thess 5:18 (NIV) encourages us to, Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

 

I see God reclaiming His people.  I see Him pouring Himself in us and through us.  I see us becoming His hands and feet to the world around us right where we are, doing His will with whatever and whoever is in front of us.  I see chains being broken and lives being changed. Hearts redeemed. 

 

I see a storehouse filled to overflowing with God’s spirit.  I see barns and businesses, homes and hopes, alive, awakened…abundant. I see His presence moving in and through us like never before.

 

Will you believe it with me? Will you cast aside entitlement? Will you join me in rediscovering the Biblical mindset of truth, responsibility, and gratitude?  Will you help pass it down to our children?

 

 

About This Community

Don’t we all want a little peace?  My heart for this community is to provide just that – a needed refuge from all the burdens that weigh us down, some encouragement and inspiration to keep us weary travelers moving forward on our journeys, and some practical advice to help each of us navigate the challenges of life and relationships.  Whether in our parenting, our marriages, our faith, or the broken places in our hearts, this place is for anyone who dares to reach beyond the hopelessness that surrounds us and embrace a lifestyle of emotional abundance and peace!  


About Peace for a Lifetime

In my new book, Peace for a Lifetime, I share the keys to cultivating a life that’s deeply rooted, overflowing, and abundant, the fruit of which is peace. Through personal and professional experience as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, I’ve discovered how to take the broken pieces of life and find indestructible peace with myself, God and with others. Through my story and other’s stories you’ll realize that you can experience the life for which you long. You can experience abundance beyond anything you can imagine. You can experience peace, not just for today, not just for tomorrow. You can experience peace —for a lifetime!

Peace for a Lifetime is available on Amazon.com.

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19 Comments

  1. Amen. “Infuse our hearts with gratitude.” Love that statement! Each day, I find something to be thankful for and I jot that blessing in a small notebook on my kitchen counter. 🙂

    • Yes, Melissa! It is an attitude of the heart. I have to remind myself daily of the small and big blessings. My day goes so much better and my heart is so much more full. Blessings, friend!

  2. You really nailed this from the outset, Lisa. “Full barns…empty hearts.”
    As believers, we are charged with showing the rest of the world a better way to live, and I wonder if we really keep that front and center in our pursuit of the American dream?

  3. As believers He wants to entitle us with His best, but He can’t when our hearts are empty of His Spirit. I read a moment ago of a mother who asked her children how their heart was today. Greedy, gimme, gimme, and that’s mine, some believers do need to grow up in love and start teaching their children. I work on my heart as a believer everyday and I know He does.

  4. I love this, Lisa! Gratitude makes an enormous difference in our hearts and minds! Let’s be the kind of women who build those thankful thoughts and strengthen our minds!

  5. Amen! I love this bold call to cast aside entitlement. Thank you so much for challenging us and reminding us to have a heart of gratitude for all the blessings and the grace we have received.

  6. I was resonating with these words in your post. Yes, we want his presents, and not his presence. Responsibility. This is something we are teaching our teen. He wants freedom, but with freedom comes responsibility. Ouch. Can’t I have the first and not the second? Thanks for your insights.

  7. How is this working for us?? I read posts like this and think that our kids aren’t buying it. Why do you think they’re enslaved into pornography, drugs, cutting and suicide? Because all the church has offered is that their desire for more is wrong. They should settle for the bread crumbs God has doled out. They don’t deserve to be loved; no in fact their rebellious, villainous selves deserve eternal separation.

    Have we created some entitlement? Yes. But shaming us is not the way to the abundant life. I wonder sometimes if we ever step back and look at the theology we are generating. When Jesus turned water into about 908 bottles of wine, you didn’t hear the host humbly retort, “oh no! Jesus. I’m too unworthy for all this abundance. I really deserve water. I don’t want any of your gifts. Just your presence here is enough.” How do you truly separate the Giver from His gifts?? It was crazy theology like this that kept me bound for years into feeling guilty for merely wanting to feel loved by God. Why are we scared to believe that we deserve to be loved? Imagine telling this “you don’t deserve” verbage to your foster child from Ethiopia. Do you remind her every day when she sits to eat her chicken nuggets at your kitchen table that she doesn’t deserve this “gift”? That she is bad for wanting more?

    • Elaine,
      Thank you so much for your thoughts! I am so sorry you feel this post isn’t compassionate enough. I wish you could read a few of my other posts to recognize how strongly I advocate for compassion, for identity, for claiming our Belovedness is Christ, which is the heart of God towards us. I would encourage you to look at last week’s post, “When You’re In The Deep And You’re Too Blind To See Anything But The Storm,” or the week before, “For the Weary and Wounded, There is Always Room in the House Called Mercy,” to get a clearer picture of my perspective on a healthy view of Christ’s love toward us. However, there are times where it is important to speak truth in love. That was my heart for this post as well. Never judgment, never condemnation.

      We (myself included) as a culture of Believers have become entitled. We have put so much emphasis on love, and grace, and compassion, that we have removed any personal responsibility to God, to His truth, to our hearts. We have looked to other things to fill us except that which was meant to fill us and that is the person of Jesus Christ. As Believers, we each know that truly we don’t deserve anything but eternal separation from Christ. That is why He died for us on the cross. Our condition was desperate and in His love He gave us the gift of eternal life. We all need to be reminded of this, not so that we can feel badly about ourselves, but so we can stop filling ourselves with things that won’t work, that won’t fill us and turn to the One who was created to fill us thoroughly, completely. That, my friend, is the best news I could ever offer anyone. Many blessings to you!

  8. THIS!!!!! WELL WRITTEN! I am sharing this! #ablogginggoodtime

  9. I think I need to reread this message every day for it to sink in. I am definitely sharing it. Visiting you today from the tune in thursday link up. laurensparks.net

  10. Hi Lisa! Loved this post…it reminded me of the verse about digging our own broken cisterns when God is the spring of living water (Jer 2:13). Sharing is on pinterest and twitter!

  11. This is beautiful, Lisa! I recognize the entitlement and scarcity mentalities. It is prevalent today. But infusing our hearts with gratitude is the perfect anecdote to the negativity.

  12. Very thought-provoking. We live in a society that pursues happiness without pursuing the happiness-giver. And it’s a challenge for all of us to get our thinking back in the right order.

    And this post really resonated with someone because they chose to add it to the BlogCrush linky. Hurray! Feel free to grab your “I’ve been featured” blog badge if you’d like to display it #blogcrush

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