Have you ever questioned whether we have the right to demand something from your home church? For instance if you break your leg, can you demand that they accommodate you while you are in a cast and have crutches? Or you or your child have special needs and you demand that they include you or your child in every activity whether you or your child can function I that atmosphere. Where do we draw the line on what we can demand of others in our church body?
In prayer we demand a lot of God and He can deliver if it’s in His will. However, I imagine as any good father the tone of your demand must be tempered in love. So why do we as humans demand so much from our church and only occasionally ask in love? The answer lies in the fact that we are operating in the flesh a lot and that we tend to think that we deserve certain considerations.
In an article called “Getting to the Heart of Conflict” there is one paragraph that stood out for me; “The trouble is that if our desire is not met, these attitudes can lead to a vicious cycle. The more we want something, the more we think of it as something we need and deserve. And the more we think we are entitled to it, the more convinced we are that we cannot be happy and secure without it.”
The word entitled really struck me. We hear it so often in today’s world because the generations coming up feel that the world owes them something. As Christians the only thing we are entitled to is death for our sins, but Jesus paid that cost for us. In 2 Kings 5 there is a man named Naaman who feels that he is entitled. He has leprosy and goes to see Elisha with all his horses and chariots for a cure. When Elisha tells Naaman to go wash in the Jordan 7 times Naaman goes away furious and says, (2 Kings 5:11) “He will surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God and wave his hand over the place and cure the leper.” Naaman felt the he was entitled to be healed without doing something to be healed. He demanded Elisha to heal him. Now Naaman certainly learned his lesson when he did go and wash in the Jordan and became healed, but rarely do people who demand things or feel entitled see that it’s not all about them. We need to accept responsibility for ourselves and our families and we cannot demand that our needs be met by others without doing something ourselves.
In an article called “The Entitlement Cure” author Dr. John Townsend states, “Entitlement can be cured too. We won’t be able to wave our hands over the problems of our loved ones. We also can’t expect that they will get it right the first time. Most likely, we will have to walk with them down a Hard Way path of healing.”
So if you feel you are entitled to some extra special care, or demand that you and or your family be accommodated remember that Naaman was healed and then offered what he could to Elisha. What do you/we have to offer in return?