On the Difference between Hope and Entitlement


If I had a dime for every time a well-meaning older friend told me not to fret my current  boyfriendless state because “God will bring the right man to me,” I’d be rich enough to buy myself the aforementioned perfect man. 


Apart from the fact that those statements often make me feel worse, not better about my lack of a love life, I also worry that trite phrases like these are actually spreading false theology. 


I don’t doubt God could bring the right man into my life, but I also don’t believe he promised me one. 


He never promised me the perfect love story or the perfect job or the perfect body. 


As a restless twentysomething, I’ve been doing a lot of dreaming and scheming for my future. I’ve been trying to work out the difference between my God-given hopes of finding love and keeping a fulfilling job and the unhealthy entitlement monster that tries to convince me that God owes me these things and I will not be satisfied until I get them.

I came across this wonderful post today over at Ragmuffin Soul about the many things that God doesn’t promise us
The author writes,


 The ONLY thing that we are promised is the love of Jesus.”


Not an easy life. Not freedom from depression. Not the perfect marriage. Not a fulfilling job. Not even a happy, functional family. 


Only love. 


The author writes, “And that love can…Hold you during a rough adulthood…Sustain you during rough depression…Restore you when you sabotage your marriage…Provide for you when you are out of cash…Support you when Jesus is your only grace…Reveal to you when you look in the mirror and see Grace on your chest…Be Hope for you when the fridge is empty…Fill you when you read His Word…Satisfy you when you have worked harder on your job than on your family…”Now that sounds like a promise worth putting my hope in.  

What empty promises do you put your hope in? How do you balance your desires between hope and entitlement?

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6 thoughts on “On the Difference between Hope and Entitlement

  1. Anonymous says:

    Amin sister! I believe so, as well. I went through a phase when I thought that God wants me to be happy and blessed because that's what I kept hearing around me, but I found out on my own, years later that God doesn't promise anything else to us but Himself, or His grace. "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness." I don't like it at times, it feels that it's not enough, but that happens only when I don't look straight into the heart of God, but look superficially at Jesus, from a distance… I don't know if I'm clear enough but anyway, I get your point, and agree with everything you write. We have to walk close with Jesus, day by day. We have to keep our eyes firmly on Him, and have people around us that tell us when we don't because this world keeps scream at us how to live, how to look, how to have a successful and fulfilling life. Unfortunately we hear it many times preached from the pulpit, making us feel worthless, which is exactly the opposite of the will of God. You are blessed already because you are His daughter. Enjoy His blessings today.

  2. Being American, that whole entitlement thing runs in our blood. We think we're entitled to the "American Dream," which includes a lovely spouse, two kids, a house, great job, nice car, and a white picket fence – the metaphorical cherry on top.Truth be told, Jesus promises us none of those things. And that's okay. I think that's what we struggle to see, as if being "comfortable" and "safe" is something biblical to strive for.Great post, Aly!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I agree that the Gospel doesn't justify an attitude of entitlement. I also agree that we shouldn't put our hope in things, because that's not the hope that God gives us. I think the important thing is to surrender our desires and dreams to the Lord, and to say, "God, this is what I want for my life, but more than anything I want to be close to you, and I want the things you want for me." I believe that many times God will give us both-closeness with him, and the things we desire. It's about trusting in him and his goodness though. Having an attitude of, "If you loved me, you would…" doesn't work with God.

  4. Aly Lewis says:

    Great thoughts. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Aly Lewis says:

    I agree, Adrian. Who wants to be safe and comfortable, anyway?

  6. Aly Lewis says:

    Well put. I like that you said, "I want the things you for me." Such a powerful prayer!

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