Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.Ephesians 5:2 (NLT)
Sorry, teens. But your generation has been labeled as “entitled” by countless scholars, teachers, and pastors. You may be wanting to push back against that label, but let’s examine what it actually means. To be entitled means that you basically believe you should get what you desire. A prime example: Nearly every high school student has a cell phone. It’s considered a right of passage. When you reach a certain age, you get a phone. And, for the most part, they are nice smart phones. And, as I hear the stories, most of you teens didn’t buy them. Someone else used their hard-earned cash to get it for you (and pays the service on it). You genuinely believe you deserve it. Y’all feel entitled to your electronic ball and chain.
Ok, enough bashing on the teens. Adults, are we really that much better? My phone is generally no more than a foot away from me at all times. I digress.
Here’s the issue. We often times feel entitled to the blessings of God. Now, hear me out. God wants to give us blessings, and He does give us blessings. But, when we think we’ve earned them or somehow deserve them because of who we think we are or because of what we’ve done, we are entitled Christians. So, when the blessings don’t come, we get upset and begin to question God like a kid who didn’t get the phone they wanted. Let’s be clear. We’ve earned nothing.
However, Jesus tells us our lives must not be lived in entitlement. Our lives are to be lived in sacrifice. The Apostle Paul writes, “Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.” So, what does sacrifice look like? It’s pretty simple. Sacrifice requires us to give up something. As Christians, our lives shouldn’t be filled with wants, it should be filled with gives. (Horrible grammar, I know)
If we are to follow the example of Jesus, then we must be willing to sacrifice everything. Our finances, our friendships, our families, our careers, our academics, our athletics, our music, our entertainment, and, yes, our electronics, when God calls us to do so.
So, here’s your gut-check moment. What have you sacrificed for God’s kingdom today?
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