Independence, Individuality and Entitlement
Recently we celebrated the 4th of July. A day set aside to remember what our forefathers did in order to be free from oppressive and unfair government. But when you ask people today what independence means you will usually get an answer that goes something like this. "Do whatever I want, whenever I want as long as I don't hurt someone else."
That isn't independence, that's entitlement. Entitlement by definition is a guarantee of access to (fill in the blank here). In others words we think that we are entitled to a car, a job, health insurance, etc and so on. This really gets goofy when our children say things like, "I deserve a DS or I should have a iPhone." They are saying, "I am entitled to these things." then expect their parents to give it to them. These kids grow up and expect society, government, church and other institutions to do the same.
It isn't our love for independence that drives this, but our love for individuality that fuels this nightmare. Remember? "Do whatever I want, whenever I want as long as I don't hurt someone else." When we teach our children that life is all about them, they grow up thinking that it really is.
Life is all about Jesus. When we are the center of our universe then we are selfish. When Jesus is the center of our universe we will be selfless. That urge within you to say, "But what about what makes me happy? What about what I want?" Doesn't come from Him. Jesus said that He would meet our needs. We assume that He is talking about clothes, food, car etc. But that includes our relationship, emotional, financial and spiritual needs. Our happiness isn't found in ourselves or in this world - it's found in Christ.
Is it wrong to teach our children that they are special? No. As long as they know that the reason why they are special is because Jesus is in their hearts. That what makes them special isn't a talent, skill or special ability they have. It's because what they can do with those God given abilities for Him that make them special. We generalize God and what He does way to much. Do you realize that your child can worship God like no one else in the world can? Oh, we all may raise our hands, sing the same songs and pray in similar ways. But each of us are unique. So is your child. That uniqueness that God has given them allows them to touch His heart in a way like no one else. That's REALLY special!!