My first and only job (other than working for my father on the farm) was with a major oil company where we lived about 90 miles east of Yellowstone Park for 9 years. It was natural to included a trip to Yellowstone when friends and families should visit. It was interesting to see this quote in a recent local newspaper related to a political campaign, “The National Park Service reported, “Please Do Not Feed the Animals .. The animals will grow dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves”. For me, this is a perfect example of “Entitlement”.
As Christians, we must guard against the mindset of entitlement. God has given us the power to get wealth and it is up to us to make it happen, as we apply The Word and some hard work. Like the bears in the forest, we must be able to take care of ourselves!
If someone is repeatedly coming to you with the same need, it my be time for you to let them grow up by saying “no” even if it involves a little pain. Especially when you know that they can be empowered to meet that need through their own efforts!
Biblical we are to help those in need that can’t help themselves: the disabled, the family in disaster, and the widow. God wants us to be generous and giving toward people in a temporary need. But even in these cases, the help should be for a limited period as we help these people this temporary period in their life.
In my business experience, I am careful not to accidentally slip into creating a culture of entitlement. For example, feeding the crew on several Fridays in a row can result in some people not bringing a lunch on Friday. On our family farm a key worker got a nice bonus on a year in which we had an exceptionally good harvest. The next year we had a very poor harvest and this worker threatened to quit because he was expecting a similar bonus. And, I can not be quick to give personal loans. Clear communications is especially important when money is involved. And, I suggest you purposely alter our pattern of helping on needs that may lead people to an entitlement attitude.
Many governments create entitlements. I have traveled to more than 40 countries of the world to meet and speak with Christian businesspeople. Seems that most of the world is waiting for their government to take care of them and their problems. This is a common form of entitlement. Taking on this attitude can stop people from looking to God for guidance and provision. God will give unique and awesome ideas that can be turned into money.
Share with us how you may have fallen into the entitlement mindset. How did you got yourself out of this mindset? Share of examples you have seen in others being trapped with this attitude.
Help us share some of your marketplace experiences with people in a foreign land. They want to hear from you.