There are many different challenges parents face in raising kids. One that I have faced has been in sports, when my kids have been a part of a team but they have had to sit on the bench. I know how badly they have wanted to get in and how hard they have practiced. I hate to see them have to watch the whole game from the bench. I think they deserve a chance.
In Matthew 20 Jesus tells the parable about the workers in a vineyard. The landowner hires several people throughout the day but at the end of the day they all receive the same wages. The workers who were hired earlier in the day started grumbling to the landowner because they thought they deserved more than the people who came at the end of the day. The landowner reminded them that they agreed to work for a certain price and that is what they received. Jesus begins (at end of chapter 19) and ends the parable by saying, “the last shall be first and the first shall be last.”
The workers felt entitled. I think we can all relate. It seems to be the norm these days. Our culture screams to us, “you deserve it” in many ways. Feeling entitled is a dangerous place to live because it is the opposite of how Jesus tells us to live. It affects our relationships when we start to think we deserve something from someone else. It really affects our relationship with God. The opposite is also true. When we humble ourselves, it changes our relationships for good and we can see how He uses us to build His kingdom.
Jesus really is entitled. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, yet He is constantly talking about humility. It is interesting that right after he tells them this parable He tells them they are on there way to Jerusalem to Jerusalem where He will be betrayed and handed over to death. He wasn’t just telling the disciples this is how they should live, He was showing them.
This week when I find myself grumbling because I don’t have something that I think I deserve, I hope I can get beyond the superficial and see that I am really grateful that I don’t get what I deserve because of His grace. I will be praying for humility, which isn’t a hard prayer to pray, but it is a hard lesson to learn. I want to lift others up before myself, because I trust Jesus knows what is best for me, and He does not ask me to go to places that He hasn’t been.