Entitlement is a word that gets passed around a lot, especially in political circles.
Its origin means to bestow a title on someone. So to be “entitled” means you have claim to some possession or privilege. “Entitlement” has taken on a negative sense, meaning you believe you have the right to a privilege. If you do not, the term should be “falsely perceived entitlement” but that doesn’t play well on television.
I too have had seasons when the big green monster of jealousy and pride rears its ugly head. I had completed a series of tasks that I thought went rather well, but seem to go unappreciated. Then I see others being promoted around me (some deservedly, some not so much) standing like prison walls, keeping me in my place. Everyone seemed to be getting a healthy serving of pie. I like pie, where is my pie?
Hungering for pie that I believed I deserved, I got my pie, but it was “humble” pie. It was bitter and stuck in my throat. No full glass of self-serving, ego stroking “milk” could wash away that taste. So I pouted like a two year old.
Then grace or wisdom (or some of both) infused my thoughts. I had been reading about the days leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion and subsequent resurrection, Hallelujah.
“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.” Matthew 4:1,8-11
Jesus was offered the entire pie but chose to serve God instead.
When Jesus gathered for the Passover meal, instead of accepting the crown the He deserved, He took the lowest of tasks and washed the disciples’ feet. When Jesus was arrested, He said He could have called “twelve legions of angels” to rescue Him, but He did not. On the cross, He could have saved Himself but He chose instead to take my sin on His back and leave it in the grave. Certainly not the “pie” that He deserved.
Now in no means do I equate my minor struggles with what Jesus went through for all of us. The hint of comparison makes my little pity party rather embarrassing. Jesus did not have to endure beatings, being spat on, crown of thorns on His head, nails in His hands and feet, and earthly death, but He chose to, to do His Fathers will, all for me and you. I am grateful.
So where does that leave me? The tasks that I completed (throwing pride aside) were an opportunity to wash feet. Not a pleasant task, but a worthy one, with Jesus as an example.
So a worthy task leaves me entitled to a privilege, right? Perhaps my slice of pie is sitting at Jesus feet, singing the praise He is so richly entitled to. Not only with every earthly breath, but every eternal breath as well.
Now that’s a good piece of pie.
Enjoying my pie
And Blessed in Great Measure
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