The entitlement mentality has become more and more common in our society. You can see it in both the young and old and the poor and rich. Not only that, but it is more likely that you also have this mentality. With this in mind, how do you exactly overcome the entitlement mentality?
A viral video of an entitled customer
On October 10, 2022, a video posted on Facebook went viral. At the time of this writing, the video got 8.6 million views, 102,000 comments, and 132 reactions. The video is about an angry customer scolding a fast-food manager after he was asked to wait for his order in a drive-thru. I can’t show you the video because of the explicit language the customer used.
From the video, the customer expected that he doesn’t need to wait for his order. The manager explained that he ordered a lot of items and it might take a few minutes for the order to be completed. That’s when the customer became furious explaining that the reason he used the drive-thru is that he wants to get his order quicker. He didn’t need to wait.
The driver then said, “Don’t you know who I am? You need to resign and find a new job.” I don’t need to say all the things the customer said, but you can say that he was mean and rude.
The driver, since he considered himself a customer, believes that he deserved better service. He believes that he doesn’t need to wait. He believes that he is right and the entire crew is wrong.
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Brethren, what do you think is the problem with the driver? In today’s world, the attitude of the driver could easily be called the entitlement mentality.
According to WebMD, a popular medical website, an entitlement mentality is defined as “a sense of deservingness or being owed a favor when little or nothing has been done to deserve special treatment.”
In short, you feel you are entitled when you believe that you should be treated better than others and that the world owes you. You feel like the world revolves around you and that you are the center of the universe. WebMD even added that entitlement is a narcissistic personality trait.
Examples of entitlement attitude
Going back to our story, the driver has a sense of entitlement. He believes that since he is a customer, then he is entitled to the best service there is. If he doesn’t get it, he is allowed to get angry, insult people, and make them feel bad.
You might not know it, brethren, but the entitlement mentality is more common than you think. Even every one of us has this mentality on a certain level.
Let me give you an example. When I was still a student, I always feel that I’m entitled to get my allowance regularly. I feel like my parents should give me a certain amount of money no matter how hard it would be for them. If they can’t give it to me, I get angry and resentful.
An entitled person would cut you off in line or in traffic. An entitled person would be late without asking for an apology and when someone is late, he feels angry. An entitled child would grab things and exclaim, “This is mine!” I also heard once a teenager telling his parents, “I didn’t ask to be born. It’s your fault I’m here.”
An entitled person feels like someone should serve him when in reality, others are not obliged to do so. An entitled person feels like the world should make him happy and that everyone should always pay attention to him. An entitled person doesn’t know how to thank others. An entitled person is someone who will just throw his garbage anymore.
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Entitlement attitude toward God
With these examples, brethren, I hope you are now getting the idea that all of us can have this mentality. Now, here’s the bigger problem: there are times when our entitlement attitude isn’t just directed to other people but also directed to God!
This reminds me of how the children of Israel had an entitlement attitude and complained against Yahweh. We read in Numbers 11:4-6:
4 Now the mixed multitude who were among them yielded to intense craving; so the children of Israel also wept again and said: “Who will give us meat to eat? 5 We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic; 6 but now our whole being is dried up; there is nothing at all except this manna before our eyes!”
We see here how the Israelites felt that they deserve more from God. After all, it was God who delivered them from Egypt. So, He is responsible to give them what they demand.
If we are not careful, we can also have the same attitude. We feel like God owes us something, that God should have given us more. Perhaps, you have already experienced that.
You tell Yahweh, “Father, I’ve been serving you. I’ve been a good person. I’ve done this and have done that for your sake. I deserve to have a better job, a bigger house, a better spouse, a nicer phone, and so on and so forth.”
Because of this entitlement mentality, we imagine the Almighty as Someone who is responsible for our happiness. If you’re not happy, then it’s God’s fault. Eventually, unmet expectations will spiritually weaken and kill you.
How to overcome Entitlement Mentality
So, how can we overcome the entitlement mentality? We should learn from our Savior, Yahshua the Messiah. We read in Philippians 2:5-7:
5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus…
What kind of mind should we have? We continue reading:
6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.
So this is the type of mind that we should have — to be humble and this will help us overcome the entitlement mentality.
Yahshua is the Creator of all created things. He created us. He gives life to all. He is God. He has every reason to have self-entitlement.
Yet, what happened brethren? He didn’t demand to be treated like one but took the form of a bondservant. He didn’t insist on having all the privileges of being a God.
You see, brethren, sometimes, it is true that we deserve something. We are entitled to something when we work for it, when we paid for it, or when it is rightfully ours. Sometimes, we are in the right and others are in the wrong.
However, even during these times, we can still choose to be kind rather than insist to be right.
That’s what Yahshua did here. He is right and He is always right. Yet, He chose to fulfill the will of His Father. He chose to obey God even if that means He will be humiliated, insulted, spat upon, kicked, punched in the face, executed with the most humiliating and painful punishment ever known to man, and ultimately, killed.
Yes, brethren, this is the type of mind that we should all have. Instead of being puffed up with self-importance, seeking attention, and waiting to be served, let’s become more grateful, kind, and loving.
Whether it is true we are entitled to something or not, we should do our best to conduct ourselves in a godly manner.
With all these brethren being said, it is my sincerest hope that we should get rid of the entitlement mentality and replace it with Yahshua’s mentality.