Ours is a very entitled culture. We’re happy to work for this or that but often we expect to receive payment greater than the work put in. Simple volunteering is becoming a dying concept. Sure you can find various charities and benevolent organizations out there, but many of them are, in the end, businesses. The bottom dollar that pays the charity workers (now there’s an oxymoron) is at least of equal importance to the people being served.
That entitled attitude manifests itself in a variety of ways: Consider the person who offers to help but then complains about the extent of the workload, or the person who finishes the job and then becomes upset when he is not adequately thanked for the labor offered.
Even in Christianity there is an unhealthy sense of entitlement. Sometimes brethren forget that they are mere servants to the King. We’re not partners, we’re subjects. Though the Lord is rich in compassion and tender mercies, He has not overlooked the distinction between Himself and His people…
But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat? And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink? Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not!So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.
The Lord’s illustration is stark. He reminds His audience that it is not appropriate for the Master to invite His servants to dine with Him, disregarding their responsibilities. Instead, when they have returned from their hard labor in the field, they are then told to prepare the food for the master, serve the master and then–only after the master has been tended to–may the servant enjoy his own meal. And even then, after the servant is finished, should he “expect” his master to commend him for his hard day’s work? Should the servant be “entitled” to such overt praise?
I think not!
When we have done all the things the Lord has commanded of us, we should not stand there with our palms open expecting a tip. We should be reminded that we are merely unprofitable servants. We did what we were told and we will be rewarded for doing so; not because we earned it, but because God is gracious to us despite our hell-deserving sins.