There are not as many roundabouts in my area as there are overseas; however, there is one on my daily route and I have noticed some problems. Everything flows nicely when people yield as law states; however, when people refuse to yield, there are a lot of near misses. Unfortunately I see my life flash before my eyes frequently. I have considered why this happens so often. The law states that when people are inside the “circle” of the roundabout, others (outside the circle) must yield to those inside the circle. Every entrance to the circle says “YIELD.” Instead, I see people not even slow down at the “yield” area, and enter into the circle when someone (like me) is right there. Slam on brakes. Near miss. Heart pumping out of chest.
Today there is this greater fight for rights. I deserve the very best. I should have the right to go first. I am ENTITLED. I DESERVE. There is this sense of entitlement that causes people to believe they deserve better treatment than others. They should be first. They should get the right of way. They should get whatever they want. They deserve it. Others need to give way. Others need to give in.
Jesus –God on earth in human form—did not walk with a sense of entitlement. He did not say, “Hey, I’m God so I get to eat the first of this fish and bread.” He did not say, “Hey, I’m God so I do not have to pay this fee” or “Hey, I’m God so I shouldn’t have to climb up this hill.” He also didn’t say, “Hey I’m God so I can disrespect others and jump in line.” He didn’t even say, “Hey I’m God so bow down to me right now.” So why, WHY do we do that? Why do we feel we are entitled? Why?
“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!” – Philippians 2:5-8 [NIV]
One phrase that is hurtful to anyone is “I hate you.” This morning I saw a little boy shopping with his mother. She was looking for cough medicine and after finding the bottle she wanted, her son said, “That’s mine.” She said “no” to him and then his response was loud. He yelled, “I hate you.” It hurt me hearing it and it was not even directed my way.
The boy was asking for adult cough medicine which was not his and could have actually killed him if consumed. Kids go through the “it’s mine” phase. Perhaps the kid just wanted to hold the bottle and it was simply a matter of having something to claim. But we see this every day. We see this same scenario played over and over again, not in a grocery store and not over a bottle of cough syrup. We say to God, “that’s mine.” That can be seen as an “I hate you” to a degree. Some people even go as far as to say that as well.
Today’s culture is all about having everything. We are taught that we deserve everything. We are entitled to everything. We can have whatever we want. If it isn’t given to us, we can take it. We are owed it. We even go as far as to think that God owes us. Why should we give our lives to Him? He should just fulfill my long grocery list prayer and be the God I want Him to be because I am entitled. It is sad. I thought of all of this when I saw this mother getting yelled at by her son. The mother said to the boy, “well I love you.” We may feel entitled. We may live for ourselves. We may even turn our backs on our loving Father. But still, He loves us. We are not entitled. But we are loved and we are shown grace that we surely do not deserve. Thank God today. Thank Him for His love and His forgiveness. Remember, you are not entitled to anything and nothing belongs to you.
“What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people!Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, ‘He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us’? But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” – James 4:1-8 [ESV]