We’ve looked at the myths of happiness and fairy godmother. The third myth that will keep us from healing is the myth of entitlement, which says, “You owe me!” Sometimes we think God owes us. Sometimes we think others owe us. But one way or the other, we escape personal responsibility when we buy into the myth of entitlement. The myth is entitlement is closely related to the victim spirit or mentality, which claims, “It isn’t my fault!” Either way, the result is escaping responsibility and expecting God or others to fix us or fix the problem.
God wants us to be responsible. To grow up into him (Eph. 4:15). That doesn’t negate faith, but it does require us to become mature. To make right choices. To be obedient.
The antidote to the myth of entitlement is good old-fashioned hard work and responsibility. It’s the willingness to get our hands dirty. To do the right thing. N.T. Wright in After You Believe: Why Christian Character Matters says, “Virtue…is what happens when someone has made a thousand small choices, requiring effort and concentration, to do something which is good and right, but which doesn’t ‘come naturally’—and then, on the thousand and first time, when it really matters, they find that they do what’s required ‘automatically.’” It becomes an “acquired naturalness.”
Battling the myth of entitlement isn’t easy, but then, few worthwhile things are. As long as we believe that God or the world owes us, we’ll remain stuck in our sickness, whether physical or emotional.