Entitled to Put Me First

The world tells me I am entitled to put me first. I have more rights when I’m invested in the situation or the organization. The more I’ve put in of my time, my abilities, and my resources, the more rights I own.

That’s what the world tells us. But we are called to be in this world, not of this world. If we are going to walk out unique design in purpose and on purpose, then we have to be focused on so much more than the world can begin to comprehend.

If you choose
to follow the world’s rules
then you are locked
into the world’s limits.
– Kathryn Lang


If you choose to follow the world’s rules then you are locked into the world’s limits. - Kathryn Lang

Squashing Demands for Entitlement

People from all walks of life and stages of this journey have expectations for their investments. While Ms. Jackson may have been the first to declare, “What have you done for me lately,” the rest of the world took up the cry and ran with it – right over everyone else who dared stand in the way.

I stood in the midst of a conversation recently where several folks were determined to get what they deserved. “I made the investment. I deserve the return.”

I held my tongue, and if you know me, you know that it was pretty much a physical exercise. I had something to say, and it needed to be said.

He was wrong. He wasn’t just wrong – he was offensive and hurtful. 

One of the other ladies in the group backed him up. “He spent all this money, so he should be allowed to get what he wants.”



I get it. Scratch that. I don’t get this. Nothing entitles someone to supersede or run over someone else. We are all in this together, and to be in it together, we have to be willing to put others first.

These folks were not about putting others first. They wanted what they deserved. “I am entitled to put me first.” They may not have said the actual words, but they meant the sentiment.

I wanted to squash their entitlement plans, but they couldn’t hear me. They believed what they believed, and no amount of words or facts or truths would have changed them in that moment. Sometimes you have to keep your mouth shut to have an opportunity later to make a lasting impression. Words thrown out at the wrong time are bombs that blow up relationships.

So I held my tongue, but my mind was spinning in overdrive.

Hope Beyond Entitlement

The other day, my husband and I finished watching Manifest on Netflix. While it didn’t all go the way I wanted or expected, two things stood out.

  1. Hope. When we have hope, even the impossible becomes possible.
  2. Together. We are all in this together, and sometimes that means doing something for someone even when we thought we deserved to have someone doing for us.
  3. Beyond. If we are going to change the world, then we have to look beyond self. If we are going to save the world, then we have to be invested in things that are beyond our “entitlements.”

So much of my time lately has been invested in focusing on Love God and then Love Others – which are the first two seasons in our new The Abundant Life Program. It’s because of that very investment that I used an opportunity to step away from the conversation and not add anything to it. It wasn’t my place to point out how wrong they were. I chose to put hearts first.

I knew they believed what he was saying. It’s what they fed their hearts. It’s what they were constantly around. It was their place of common. If I have a PowerPoint presentation with citations, they still believe they are secure in their rightness. For them, it is right even though it is wrong.

I came away from that encounter exhausted. Despite having the opportunity to engage and interact, I was drained. My motivation and inspiration were hiding. I needed to do what I needed to do, but I couldn’t focus on what needed to be done first.

Getting Beyond Being Entitled

“He deserves it.”

“We deserve it.”

“I deserve it.”

It’s not long before deserve becomes a demand, and then we run right over the little guy to get what we have demanded. We are entitled, but they are crushed.

My prayer and my determination are to be so focused on God that what happens to you matters more than what I am “entitled to.”

God, help me to always keep you in the center of my path. Let Your Love direct me and Your Love guide me so that what I say and do is a reflection of you. 

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