Is it just me, or does people moaning about Christmas begin earlier every year? Which of us has not heard someone complain is it THAT TIME OF YEAR already? A time when children are heard to be counting down the days, and their parents are seen to be counting up the cost. One mum wrote to her local paper starting with the statement that, “My son seems to have the idea that he should always get what he wants.” She concluded by admitting, “I am worried that I might be raising a child who feels entitled.”
The dictionary says entitlement is “the belief that one is inherently deserving of privilege or special treatment.” But should that privilege extend to children holding their parents to ransom over that ‘must have’ toy for Christmas? Might that not lead to adults being confused in the way they think about their relationships, deal with their finances, and manage their emotional and spiritual lives? When I am entitled, I can begin to think people treat me unfairly, or don’t give me enough. Financially, I can end up in debt, because I deserve to have what I want. Emotionally and spiritually, I can live in anger, resentment, and frustration because others are not responding to me in the ways I think they should.
Thank God that Christmas reminds us that in Jesus, the Baby born to us would grow up to die for us! To take what we deserve and were entitled to, in order to give us what we didn’t merit and have no right at all to claim – God’s favour towards us, God’s forgiveness for us, and God’s future guaranteed us.
Thank God that though I am entitled to nothing, in Jesus I am incredibly blessed. I don’t deserve a break today, but I thank God I can experience one. I don’t owe it to myself to buy that new thing, but I still appreciate having the freedom and the means to do so. Do children deserve to get everything they want? No, but just as they occasionally do get something, so too does God, who owes me nothing, still liberally give me much! He chooses to love me and give me good things because of His goodness towards me, not because of anything I am, I can do, or I may even have the potential to be. God offers us salvation through the GIFT of His Son. He justifies and redeems us and calls us His own, not because we are entitled, but simply because we are so richly blessed. As we are told, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9)
It is THAT TIME OF YEAR when from the youngest to the oldest we ponder anew the rights Jesus declined in being laid in a manger, and nailed to a cross to deal with our wrongs. What A TIME OF YEAR it would become, if, even in one small way, we too put the needs of others over and above the wants we ourselves have.
Kathie and I pray God’s richest blessing on you all at THIS TIME OF YEAR, trusting that you will make TIME for Him who stepped out of eternity and into TIME for us.
Your Friend and Pastor