People with this thinking error may not be outspoken enough to say it out loud, but this is what they are really thinking. They think that what's theirs is theirs alone, but whatever is yours is theirs too – if they want it. They understand the concept of ownership, but they just feel that if they really want something – it should be theirs. And they don’t think they should have to work to get it. If they don’t get what they want, they believe they have been treated unfairly. If other people stand in the way of what they want, they presume they have the right to obtain it – by any means.
This thinking error is connected with a person’s mental attitude regarding the work ethic. Those with this mindset show no respect for the efforts, industry, and accomplishments of other people. They don’t recognize boundaries. They have a spirit of entitlement – and if they want it, they will simply take it.
Society has contributed to this thinking error. What about the bankruptcy system that forgives our debts if we find ourselves in a financial bind? What about a government that seems to give public assistance forever to individuals and families? What about the medical care anyone can get when they walk into an emergency room, even when they don’t pay? What about ministries that give food to the poor, but never really do anything to help them get of out the cycle of poverty?
If we're poor, we believe we deserve handouts from the government. If we're rich, we think we need a tax break. If we’re employees, we want our employer to give us better benefits. If we’re bankers, we apply for a bailout in tough times. If we’re farmers, we expect subsidies. If we’re a special interest group, we seek special treatment.
A big spiritual issue for people who feel the world owes them something is that they become dependent on the world to provide for their needs (and wants) instead of God. Another spiritual issue with this thinking error is covetousness.
One key to overcoming this thinking error is to develop a spirit of contentment. If we learn to be content with the blessings God has so graciously given to each one of us personally, we won’t be looking at what everyone else has and finding ways to make what’s theirs our own.
Continue to Chapter 3