“And Samuel said to all the house of Israel ‘if you are returning to the LORD with all your heart,...
“Thus the sin of the young men was very great in the sight of the Lord, for the men treated the offering of the Lord with contempt.” -1 Samuel 2:17
I used to think the opposite of gratitude was complaining. I don’t think that any more, though. Now I realize that the opposite of gratitude is actually entitlement. Samuel’s sons thought they were entitled to take for themselves whatever portion of people’s offerings they wanted. Entitlement is an ugly word that nobody likes, but it’s one of the words that best describes our culture.
It’s not just other people who sometimes act entitled, though. Unfortunately, it’s often a word that accurately describes us. We want everything to be the way we want it and when we want it. We live in a time where we can use our phone to find the closest pizza delivery restaurant. But if it takes more than 5 seconds to download the app, we get mad. That’s entitlement.
A while back one of my kids went missing for a couple of minutes in a store. When I got him back, I was the most grateful guy on the planet. In some ways, nothing had changed. I still had the same kids, same house, same bank account, same friends, and same health. What had changed was my perspective.
Your situation doesn’t have to improve for your gratitude to increase. What is needed is simply a shift in your mindset.
Father, you know my tendency to be selfish and to put myself first. Help me to be humble and put the interests of others ahead of my own. Amen.
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