The Entitlement Trap

Entitlement.  We hear that word a lot nowadays, and unfortunately, most of the time it is tied to my Millennial brothers and sisters. We see jokes, commercials, social media and even songs shared around the globe, calling those who are young and still learning their world entitled, spoiled, lazy, expect much and not willing to work…..the list goes on.

But y’all, the attitude of entitlement is not limited to those of a certain age.  I have seen it played out in churches (oh yes!!!!!), in businesses, social media, government.

Many of us are caught in a trap, and we need to get out of it.  This attitude of “I AM Entitled” is a trap.

Yesterday, one of my favorite fitness communities launched a brand new app for their followers. I had purchased their Nutrition Plan back in 2011 because I really needed the help in eating good and nutrient dense food (this was way before Shakeology and the Fix containers!)  They spent 18 months on this particular app, which the thinking and brainstorming behind it probably took almost three years, and it looks beautiful! If you have heard of Tone It Up, you know what I am talking about. These lovely ladies are funny, engaging and work hard to make fitness fun and get you results.  I don’t do their workouts nearly as often anymore since I mostly do Beachbody, but I still LOVE their community and message.

So imagine my surprise when I saw folks who were upset that Karena and Katrina were actually charging a membership to the Studio portion (where you would have exclusive access to new workouts and new TIU Studio Trainers) and they felt that wasn’t right and that it should be FREE.

Wait….what?  I will be honest. This makes me so angry.  These women give a ton of content for free. All you have to do is go on YouTube and see hundreds of workouts they have created and provided that you don’t even have to pay for.  They blog (which you don’t have to pay for) tips, recipes, health and beauty advice.  Every year, they have their biggest fitness series, The Bikini Series that runs for eight weeks to kick off summer, and don’t have to pay for it! Those who are Nutrition Plan members, like me, even get an eight week bikini series guide (with recipes and a meal plan!) for free…..just for being a member.

And you are mad because these women created protein powder that you have to buy at a store and will charge you $12.99 a month to access exclusive content in the app? Which by the way, $12.99 is a great deal!  It basically means for three months, you only pay $40 for your workouts.

The fact that so many felt that because they were customers or members of the nutrition plan, they should be entitled to a discount or free.  That is not how the world works.  This is Karena and Katrina’s job. Their job is to create valuable content for you all to reach your health and fitness goals, and believe it or not, they are the ones who are entitled to being paid for their hard work.

But it is not just the fitness community. Trust me when I say that I hear it plenty of times from people who want my time and energy in my fitness challenge groups that I run each month, but are not willing to invest.  If you want my time, you must be willing to put some skin in the game.  I am worth the investment. I deserve to be paid for my work. Do you go to your job and not get paid? I didn’t think so. Nothing is free. Stop expecting it to be.  If you cannot afford something, fine. Go get creative and do your own thing for free. But don’t get upset when those whose job it is to create content want to get paid for their work.

You know where I see entitlement the most?  In churches.

I am not trying to shoot my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, but it is prevalent in many churches. This is slightly different than someone owning a business and wanting to get paid for their work, but the attitude is there.

When it comes to churches, many attend or leave a church based on what it can do or doesn’t do for them.  I rarely hear people say they leave a certain church because they felt the teachings were in error or they were in disagreement.  Mostly, it is because it is not what they want. Not the style of worship.  They don’t like that there isn’t a coffee shop on campus. Church is too big, so they must not be spiritual enough. Church is too small so it must not be spiritual enough. They come, saying they want to be a part of a family, but once the church or the leaders do something they don’t like, they are very quick to criticize and even threaten to leave….and tell others why they are leaving!

Have you ever heard any of the following statements? Have you ever said any of them?

“I have been a member of this church for a long time, and the changes they are making are not how I would make them.”

“They don’t sing the type of worship I like so I’m leaving.”

“They don’t provide the right programs for me.”

“I am upset that they don’t have a VBS for my kids to attend (and I am not willing to volunteer at VBS either)”

“I should not have to serve in XYZ ministries because that is why they have pastors. That is what they pay them to do.” 

“The pastor(s) weren’t on call to answer my “emergency phone call” to the church at 9PM. That is what they are paid to do.” (Yeah, no. Sorry. Pastors have families too and they deserve to be with them.  If it is a  real emergency, I highly suggest calling 911 or local law enforcement. I once had a woman corner me on my husband’s first day at our old church and tell me that someone needs to be on call 24/7 for phone calls to the church at night. I almost told her thanks for volunteering. I had to refrain myself so Dan would still have a job. )

I could go on and on.  I have heard a ton of statements from those who are unwilling to sacrifice and serve, but are quick to complain when they are displeased.

Forgive me, but the church was not created for your pleasure.  Jesus did not call on Peter to build the church so that we can create programs to make those who attend happy and entertained. The church was created to make disciples, to train and equip,  and to build the kingdom and to fulfill the great commission. The church is to give God the glory, not to enlighten your senses.

I am starting to rant. I apologize. But this is something that makes me so angry and it breaks my heart because friends…..this attitude is a TRAP!

We must own our faith. We must be willing to serve God’s church. We must realize that we must die to self and pray for our leaders and pastors as they work and seek God’s will for your church and for the congregation and for the direction that particular church wants to go in.  It is not easy. Their decisions that they make, more often than not, have been heavily prayed over and they realize that people will be disappointed and people will choose to leave.

I am not saying that Pastor’s shouldn’t listen to the congregation or hear their concerns.  I am not saying that events, activities, programs are a bad thing.  But if you leave the church and grumble out loud to others because you think you are entitled to certain things and they aren’t serving you…..a heart check in necessary.

It is okay to not attend a church that you don’t enjoy. Lord knows we have visited churches and chose as a family not to attend for whatever reason. But, we refuse to harm the leaders and those who do attend by having the attitude of “they didn’t do it my way so I will take my ball and go home.” That is not kingdom attitude. That is a self-serving, entitled attitude.

Let’s be better than that.  We are Christ followers.  We want to love God, and love His people. Let’s do better than that.  Let’s Kingdom build, not tear it down with our own hands.

Be a Size You,