One application of yesterday's post on following Christ communally, is to speak against the sense of entitlement I pick up among us Christians, and in which I've lived, as well.
I use "entitlement" here as the idea that I'm entitled to something or, I have certain "rights". That certain people owe me. Like my spouse. Or children. My employer, "boss", fellow employees. My pastor and church. My nation.
Looking at yesterday's passage, we see that if we take on the attitude of mind that Christ had, in our relationships with one another, we will take on an entirely different attitude than entitlement. Instead we will in humility, value others above ourselves. We will look, not to our own interests, but to the interests of the others. And we will take Christ's attitude of mind to heart, daily in our lives. Seeing ourselves on common ground with others. And serving them, in a life of obedience to God. Preferring our own excruciating death, daily, over imposing anything destructive on them (thanks to L.L. Barkat, for that insight, from a comment yesterday).
Entitlement complains about how the world is treating us Christians. This idea is from those who see America as a Christian nation at its outset. There was certainly formidable Christian influence then, though the Enlightenment influence was also strong (if not stronger). And Deism. And being a democracy, we believe we have certain rights, along with the expectations that come from electing officials.
We forget that Jesus told his disciples that "the world" is not in harmony with the kingdom of God come in Jesus. That this kingdom is from another place, and brings another message and reality. By which we're to help impact the reality and world in which we live. As we look forward to the day when this kingdom takes over, and is in full sway.
This is a kingdom in operation that looks like Jesus, in his emptying of himself into "nothing", in his being made a human, and being obedient to death, even the most cruel death of the cross. A humility in love that we are called to embrace together. A humility that has no sense at all of entitlement. But having, instead, a sense of obligation and a debt of love to our brothers and sisters in Jesus, and to all people. As we follow our Lord.
What thoughts do you have on this?