Often when we speak about welfare it is said some have an "entitlement mentality" like they are owed by the government. This, of course, isn't the right kind of attitude to have. The Apostle Paul wrote the Thessalonica church because certain ones in the church were busy bodies freeloading off the members, and he gave the principle, if a man doesn't work neither should he eat.
These are good principles to practice in the social system of our time. It would allow those who truly need help to receive more to meet the growing cost of living.
I have not necessarily been thinking about America's welfare system, but the wrong attitude of entitlement which some have. Some think the government owes it to them.
The concept of entitlement can affect any of us, and it is bad for us. Let me explain.
Many within the church are long-timers, and there is a danger in this. We can develop wrong attitudes which stem from an entitlement attitude. We can imagine we deserve more because we've been in the church a long time.
Not long ago, I gave a sermon to the churches about how each of us should maintain an attitude of "being the lowest servant in the house" because Jesus showed us the way. At the Passover He set us the example through foot washing of His willingness to express love to the disciples by washing even Judas the betrayer's feet.
Jesus said, "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."
This is the mind we need on a continual basis. We must remember we are workers in the field of God's work. Jesus is the Master, and we are the servants. It is wise if we maintain the mental attitude that we deserve nothing from God.
Jesus spoke a parable about a landowner who went out in the morning and hired laborers for his vineyard. He promised them a wage of one denarius for their work. He went out at different times of that day and hired additional workers with some being employed at the eleventh hour. All were hired for a denarius, and all worked till the evening.
After the work day was finished, the landowner called all of those he had employed together to pay them for their work. He paid them all one denarius, and those who had worked the entire day were not pleased about those who worked a short time and received the same pay as they did.
"But when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise received each a denarius. 11 And when they had received it, they complained against the landowner, 12 saying, 'These last men have worked only one hour, and you made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the heat of the day.'" (Matt. 20:10-12)
The landowner replied to those who complained, "'Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14 Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. 15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?'" (Matt. 20:13-14)
Why do I use this parable? Dear brethren, the point is being around a long time doesn't net us an extra reward in the Kingdom unless we have works which go with the time spent pursuing our calling. We must never think by the mere fact we may have been around for a long time, we deserve more than others called at the eleventh hour.
God has promised all called the free gift of eternal life if we a faithful till either we die or Christ returns. If we are faithful in our calling, and we do good works God will reward us in the Kingdom.
Rev. 22:12 "And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work."
If each of us can maintain a lowly attitude of humility realizing it is by God's grace any of us are in the church, and we serve as lowly workers in the field, when Jesus Christ returns, He will present us with a great reward.
Please have an inspirational Sabbath!
Your servant and brother in Christ,