The Sin of Entitlement: MK Perspective


When we believe that we deserve something that we have not earned or worked for, we have the sin of entitlement. Having grown up as a missionary kid in a third world country, entitlement is one of the worst qualities I’ve seen in Americans. This sin is truly ugly and selfish. It’s strange that people feel so entitled in such a rich country.

I have seen my Guatemalan friends in houses with dirt floors, completely at peace. They don’t have a bratty, angry attitude like Americans do about deserving better… that their condition is somehow someone else’s fault.

People in third world countries who are in true poverty know that they are not entitled to anything. They try to find some clean water to drink and to produce enough food in their field not to starve.

So many Americans want “free” handouts from the government, not realizing that all government money comes from taxes—the sweat and tears of the common people. By demanding more goods without working for them, they are forcing the middle class into poverty. Higher taxes mean less money to pay bills for normal people who are working.

Americans demand rights that God never gave them. No one deserves anything. You should get what you earn. The only thing you deserve is what you work for.

The richest nation on earth is the most miserable—with a huge proportion of its population on pharmaceudical drugs. Yes, people are so miserable because of their bratty attitudes where they think that if they don’t have a perfect house, a perfect marriage, and perfect kids without putting in continuous work, they need mood-altering drugs to put up with their misery.

Entitled people are often bored with their lives. All bored people are sinning. They are not walking by the Spirit. There is always something God wants you to be doing in any given situation, and He will empower you to do it and give you joy in ministering to others. Boredom indicates that you feel that you are entitled to a continuous variety of entertainment, otherwise you will snap at the people around you.

I’m fed up with this attitude.

A sense of entitlement is sin. Pay for your own goods and services. Stop demanding that other people sweat and break their backs to provide for your entertainment and gluttony. I see people who say they are poor but own a cell phone. This is not a necessity. Nope. If you have $100 a month for a cell phone, I will not give you a single penny for your basic bills because you are a squanderer. If you’ve paid all your bills and you are not mooching off others, you are allowed to get a cell phone. You are not entitled to the luxury of a cell phone if you are not able to pay your basic bills.

You are responsible for your own bills. Other people should not have to pay your bills. Scripture says if you don’t work, neither shall you eat (2 Thessalonians 3:10). And if you are frugal and still have bills, ask God, and He will provide. God is not a liar. James 4:2-3 says that we have not because we ask not, and the reason we ask is to self-pamper and spend our money on our own lusts (including gluttony, which is eating out all the time because we are bratty about “boring homemade food.”) God will not provide monetarily for brats who have been unfaithful with the money He has already provided.

Let’s repent of our national sin of entitlement. Let’s work and pay our own bills. Let’s not expect to go on vacations and eat out and be constantly entertained. Take back your life for the Lord, and live for Him. “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)

This is the first in a series of “Indictments Against the Sins of America.”

  1. The Sin of Entitlement (this post)
  2. The Sin of Boredom
  3. The Sin of Lust

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29 Responses to “The Sin of Entitlement: MK Perspective”

  1. missionarymomma says:

    Americans aren’t the only ones guilty of this sin. As I travel, my husband reminds me there is no perfect culture, no perfect people, Guatemala included. America gives more than any country in foreign aid, which she should. …I’m remembering a Spiderman quote here.. To much is given, much is required. 🙂 I understand what you are trying to say and I agree. It’s why more Americans should leave their home more often. Just trying to have a balanced perspective myself.

    • Susan says:

      Yes, if Americans could see true poverty from third-world countries, they would have a better perspective on what is a need and what is a want.

  2. Ticia says:

    Chewing this one over……

    • Susan says:

      There is a lot to think about. Churches are supposed to be caring for the poor while presenting the gospel. The government is not responsible for paying for able-bodied citizens to not get work. I’ve had people tell me that they get more money by not working than they would get at a job, so they prefer not to work.

  3. Karen says:

    I see family members with the entitlement mentality. It’s very difficult to keep my mouth shut! We raised our kids overseas and they saw how the kids there lived, which was very different than kids here in the US. Our kids both have jobs now and pay their own way while some of the other family members have parents still supporting them. All of them are old enough to work!

    • Susan says:

      You have pointed out another strange American anomaly that just in this generation, there are 40-yr-olds who still live with their parents, mooching off them and not pursuing careers and families. They just want to entertain themselves and do what is “fun.” Their lives are going nowhere!

  4. Keisha says:

    I agree that there are many people that have this kind of “entitlement” attitude, but I do not agree that it is only Americans.

    • Susan says:

      My husband said the same thing. I think if more government handouts were available in third world countries, there would be a feeling of entitlement to those programs. But because of the poverty and the fact that churches and humanitarian organizations are helping, the recipients are more grateful than if they were receiving a handout from the government.

      • Djoubti Jones actually talks about this and how programs like Operation Christmas Child create entitlement and steal dignity from parents. It’s an interesting read.

        In China, everything basic is affordable because of the government. Healthcare is accessible (the hospital is not beautiful and private, but it’s better than nothing), and food is still available in farmer’s markets at dirt cheap prices. There are upper class supermarkets, but poor people don’t shop there. There are no housing laws that say you can only have 2 people living in a one bedroom (there is actually a US law stipulating this in rental agreements – making even rent hard for some considering it’s $600 for a one bedroom in the poorest neighborhood in DFW). There’s affordable, reliable and convenient public transportation in China, or if you can’t afford the bus fare, there are huge bike lanes. Even bikes are expensive in the US, and not to mention dangerous to ride on roads – and if you want to find a secondhand one on craigslist, best be sure you’ll need a car to go pick it up. It’s possible to be poor in China and survive, but if someone is seriously really poor in the US, it’s really hard to get out of that.

        • Susan says:

          Wow, what an eye-opening article! “What we win them with is what we win them to.” Sobering thought…

          I agree that we should help those around us with what is actually needed in that moment, to stop living for ourselves but for Christ and others, that we might draw people to Christ and meet needs and break their chains of bondage. They need to see Jesus in the way we love.

          • It is definitely eye opening but makes sense. Things As They Are by Amy Carmichael testifies to this. She would never agree to telling someone they would have provision in the faith family until they really gave up everything for Christ. So many of the Hindu she ministered to did not turn to him.

  5. Sasha Mills says:

    I wonder if the entitlement comes from comparisons. Are we always trying to keep up with other people and we start looking to our culture instead of at what God is asking us?

    • Susan says:

      Wow, that’s a perceptive comment. If we see other people with lots of stuff, we feel that we should also have a similar amount of stuff if we work just as hard as they do. It’s a form of envy.

  6. Julie says:

    I do think entitlement is a growing sin! People think everything is owed to them and the ethics of hard work is going out the window! God tells us in the Bible to work hard if we are able.

  7. Alice Mills says:

    Entitlement is a subtle sin for many. Even Christianity is infused with it.

    • Susan says:

      I’ve seen entitlement in church, too. You would think Christians would be selfless and not demanding, but when their flesh is in control, they are capable of anything that a worldly person is capable of.

  8. Char says:

    You’re right – Americans do demand rights that God did not grant. There is very little that we have a “right” to if we’re honest. We came into this world with nothing and nothing to offer – it’s all a gift.

  9. Melissa says:

    In working with children and families I’m often reminding parents that entitlement starts with parents! If they are not setting limits, boundaries, and expectations, then desires of the flesh in their children continues to grow and believe it is acceptable!

    • Susan says:

      How insightful! Also, a sense of entitlement is often passed down from parents to children in welfare situations. The children are taught how to work the system to get the most welfare out of the government.

  10. Entitlement is so frustrating. “I deserve___” It’s sad, and we need to fight it in our own minds, and encourage others around us with the truth!

  11. Shiree Burch says:

    I like that you cut to the chase and don’t just write to make people feel good. You write to point people back to Jesus.:)

  12. Kathleen says:

    Your blog contains a lot of important truths that we all need to read. Another great post.

  13. I appreciate your concern for this, but I am a bit concerned there’s a truth from the Gospel missing here. I often see conservative evangelical Christians choosing not to serve the poor and those who are experiencing injustice. *I am not saying that is you*, but I just see an overall hard heartedness in the church in the US. Where are the widows, orphans, refugees, homeless, and disabled in the church? I didn’t see many at all in the Churches when I lived and recently visited the US, and that makes me very sad.

    All comments below are for thought and discussion if you’re up for it:

    What about God’s commandments to stand up for those who are experiencing injustice and for the poor? In fact God’s wrath pours out on Israel because they do not uphold his justice to protect these vulnerable. What if the other sins of America you’ve being calling out are related to this? God’s wrath being poured out, giving people up to the lusts of their own heart because people are neglecting his clear calls, to love justice and mercy and walk humbly with him.

    There’s a difference between entitlement and poverty. For example, to the cell phones. Actually for job call backs, there is a need for a phone, and refugee resettlement agencies would give all refugees phones when they arrived. What we gave was cheap, but it is actually a necessity considering landline phones are actually more expensive than cell phones these days. No phone = no jobs, and that’s how life works in the urban world these days.

    It would require us to personally know people and their attitude toward work to decide if the person is lazy or entitled (sins) or if they are ignorant toward finances and foolish, which can be taught to change. Not what’s in their hand. Not what they’re wearing. Not what they’re driving. For all we know these could be gifts (seriously it happens – my very poor friend was given a brand new Ford four door car by her wealthy parents, but she was working minimum wage). And after being in the poverty culture, I believe a lot more of repeated poverty is foolishness and ignorance. So many scams target the poor, not to mention food in the US is ridiculously expensive! Poor people around the world can at least afford their food, but not necessarily in the US.

    Within the US poverty culture, there are misconceptions in that culture about how to actually get out of poverty. Speaking from experience here and having lived among the poor, not just refugees. My family was homeless when I was a kid, and then I was on welfare and WIC when I a became unexpectedly pregnant. Our family wasn’t ready. Do I abort that child because I can’t afford him? How exactly does this situation theologically work out in a way that glorifies God when the church doesn’t provide for its poor in its midst? Well… the poor turns to the state when the hearts of the people are hard.

    When I went on WIC and welfare and medicaid, I felt guilty because my father asked me why didn’t I work – saying it was better than being on welfare. It was shameful in his eyes, but not because he was a believer (he wasn’t) but because I should never accept anything I didn’t work for. Yet conservative Christians around me put pressure on me to stay home – and you know this is totally the expectation in some of these circles. Our elders said, “These programs are in place for citizens – you are a citizen, they are here for you.” My husband was working 60 to 80 hours a week and could not find a job that paid well enough for long enough to provide us with a stable home where he wasn’t making up for an income I didn’t have. He has a Christian Ministries degree that is worthless in the eyes of US employers, and foolishly took on debt from a private Christian college. We did make a drastic change to our life to get out of that situation (we moved across the world). Yet people still were looking down at our situation and saying my husband was not even caring for his household. This is crazy to me. He was doing everything possible, but for people who have hard hearts, of course it’s not enough.

    Now that we’re out of the US, we’re not poor at all, but I feel burdened for the people who are poor who are in cycles of poverty and have no other hope. We’re called in Hebrews 13 to go outside of the camp to these unloved peoples, just like Jesus did. I just don’t see that happening very often in conservative evangelical churches in the US. People feel awkward to even talk to their neighbors, much less putting themselves “in danger” to help or educate someone who is in a different socioeconomic status.

    • Susan says:

      I treat all the people around me like I treat my own body. If I see someone in need of something, I give them everything I have, even if it means physical suffering to me.

      I do not care about objects. I care about Jesus. I love people with wild abandon. That love draws people to Jesus.

      A lot of white Americans in churches sit on huge piles of money while their fellow Christians don’t have enough to pay their bills. They are cold and heartless, and they believe their money is theirs. They don’t treat others like their own body.

      Yes, the American church is cold and heartless by and large, and they do not love. At all.

      The church is powerless and weak because they serve money for their own gratification. They sit and watch TV and eat potato chips while people’s souls suffer.

      My heart goes out to you for what you have experienced. May the Holy Spirit mightily provide financially for your family to overflowing so that you can help the poor, too!

  14. Ann says:

    I agree! What you honor is what you attract, if you only crave for entitlement without honoring “people”, you are just wasting time in your vocation.

    • Susan says:

      We need to honor the people who worked by letting them have their wages, and not forcibly taking their wages away through tax systems just to have people feel a sense of entitlement to that money when they haven’t worked for it. The poor should go to the church, where true believers will give them what they need and encourage them to work.

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