The Poison of Entitlement

Entitlement is a poison to our faith and a very common problem, especially among Americans.

Compared to the rest of the world, America is in a financial "league of its own." We "save too little, spend too much and borrow excessively."(1) 

Despite the problems it causes, most Americans still spend more than they earn. But it wasn't always that way:

My grandparents:

  • lived in a tiny house making additions when they had the money.
  • saved until they could afford large purchases.
  • vacationed only after the bills were paid.

But modern Americans have two major problems:

1. We lack contentment
We've forgotten "the secret of being content in any and every situation" (Philippians 4:12).

2. We have a sense of entitlement.
Entitlement means that we believe we deserve a certain standard of living whether we can afford it or not.

I can be guilty of these sinful attitudes myself, but I'm asking God to help me recognize that entitlement is a type of slavery:

"Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have." Hebrews 13:5

And I'm determined to remember the "secret" Paul introduces in Philippians 4:12: 

"I can do all this through him who gives me strength." Philippians 4:13

(1) NPR, Why Americans Spend Too Much

Check out the Bible Love Notes collection of 1-minute devotions about Money and Possessions.

To do a Bite Size Bible Study on this devotion, click HERE. In the study, I share a few more thoughts and three Scripture passages to ponder.

My parents were perfectly content to live in this trailer for the first few years of their lives. My father eventually owned a successful business and had a nice home, but I never knew him to express a sense of entitlement. 

Entitlement is a poison to our faith and a very common problem, especially among Americans.

Bible Love Notes


  1. Oh, how very true--and sad. If only we could adopt Paul's attitude, "I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength." Philippians 4:11-13

    1. Amen, Pam. That's one of the verses in the Bite Size Bible study on this devotion. Such a clear, rich word from Paul/God.

  2. Hi Gail! I can't hear this enough. With my husband out of work for over a year, I do get a bit nervous at times. I really do need to understand God has it all, and we'll be fine. It's all in the attitude.

    Happy Monday!

    1. Well, Ceil, you are going through a difficult testing in this area. My son was out of work all of last year, working at Chik-fil-a and a local farmer's market to feed his family of 5. He now has a ministry position again. But it was tough. I pray that your husband soon finds good work for him and that your family has all of your needs met. Are you presently in need of anything? Please let me know how I can pray.

  3. My husband made Romans 13:8 a priority in our family early on: "Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law." And Proverbs 22:7 (NIV), “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.” We live in a small home, but it's paid for, thanks be to God.

    1. You have a very wise husband, Marilyn.
      I hope you are doing well.
      It's always good to hear from you.