Entitled Much?

Silver Spoon

Not long ago, I re-read Jesus’ parable of “The Prodigal Son” in Luke’s gospel. As often happens with the Bible, something jumped out at me that I’d never noticed before…

It was after the Prodigal Son’s (PS’s) Big Brother (BB) got mad and stomped out of the “Welcome Home” barbecue–because PS didn’t deserve the party their dad threw for him. In fact, as the responsible one, BB thought he deserved the party. For being, you know, responsible.

The dad came outside to try and make peace with his beloved son BB, even though BB was being a drama king.

BB verbally strafed his little brother for being so foolish, then made his case:
“…these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends.”

Wow, what a mean father. Refusing BB even one young goat? Have you seen those little guys? Not much meat on them.

Oh wait… BB didn’t say “You never would give me” a goat, as in refusing a request. He said “You never gave me” a goat.

BB’s wording suggests that he (retroactively) expected his father to have thrown him a party it had never occurred to him to ask for.

It hadn’t occurred to the father, either. You can hear the surprise in his reply to BB’s complaint: “Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours…”

I know, the story is just an illustration. But I see myself, and our “entitled” society at large, in BB’s attitude, which leaves me wondering…

Why do I expect God to give me blessings that I don’t bother to ask for?

And am I grateful for the blessings he does give, or do I feel… entitled?

Thanks for reading,
Jan

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