Entitlement, Love, and Charity
There is an attitude that ensnares us all. So much so, that at times, we don’t even have the ability to recognize it. That is the attitude of Entitlement. “I want achievement”. But without the work. “I want esteem.” But without the relationships. “I want love.” But disregard the sacrifices. Or even say, we did fool ourselves into thinking that we put in the work, we cared about the people, we loved them unselfishly, but did not get what we expected in return.
The cause of many bad moods, and eventually a miserable existence, entitlement has turned us into predators, always hungry for the next and better prey. We are owed by somebody or something, and nothing is ever allowed to make us feel inferior. Our entitlement seeks to control and consume but the joke is on us, because in the end we become the slaves to our hollow hunger and feelings. Feelings of anger, bitterness, envy, rage, infinite despair.
Imagine a world where we left our entitlements behind. We would not be so easily disappointed. We would be free from the expectations and their injury when deferred. In this freedom we could find happiness. While casting aside this pride, we could be filled with humility- a true humility that allowed us and even excited us to Love. A Love so charitable that it would be spilling into every act, every relation. And in time, an aroma, so novel, so sweet to the world around us, they might join in. God’s Holy and Beautiful Love, flowing through us, a stream that nurtured every interaction. This is God’s vision when He asks us to lay aside all self-will and aspirations, freedom to experience His eternal pleasures and share them with others.
I think Thomas Traherne says it beautifully:
”For Love greatly delighteth in seeing its object continually seated in the highest happiness. Unless therefore I could advance you higher by the uses of what I give, my Love could not be satisfied in giving you the whole world. But because when you enjoy it you are advanced to the Throne of God and may see His Love; I rest well pleased in bestowing it. It will make you to see your own greatness, the truth of the Scriptures, the amiableness of Virtue, and the beauty of Religion. It will enable you to contemn the world, and to overflow with praises.”