Are You Entitled?

February 14, 2016

“Just because you come to work every day and do everything you’re told to do and do everything right doesn’t mean you’re entitled to anything. You should be glad you have a job where you can be treated like dirt.”
— Postal boss, West Palm Beach GMF, early 1990s

I have had to be thankful at times to just have a job even though some of the places I have worked have been pretty bad, but when you have a wife and two children you don’t have the liberty to just walk off the job.
Raises or bonuses? No raises or bonuses are better than no check. I signed on for a certain rate. That was all I was entitled to get. Anything else was icing, but the cake was what I needed. Recognition? I was just glad the time clock recognized me and let me clock in.  Would have I liked to have that stuff?  Sure, but I was not entitled to it.
When you can afford to retire do it or find another job, but if you cannot do either just be happy that the bills are paid and look to Jesus to handle the muck and mire. Someone at that job might need you to lead them to Christ or pray for them.
I have encouraged other saints at a job where my life was threatened and reviled daily to the point I had to sit in a tool cage with headsets on to drown out the cursing and slurs directed at me. That may be the place that I had the greater opportunity for PTSD than all my years in the military. Eventually, I got a job back down South, but it was a rough three years.
In America, we are guaranteed the right to “life, liberty and the PURSUIT of happiness,” not the securing of happiness. If you will not pursue what you think makes you happy or do what it requires to achieve it no one owes it to you to give it to you. The pursuit is on you and not all who pursue secure, but that is the risk of life and liberty. You can fail.
If you succeed, you are entitled to keep what you earned by your pursuit, but if I am better at pursuing and securing happiness you are not entitled to have me make up for your lack of success or success at a lower level than you desired. If there were setbacks beyond your control and I choose to help you that is my right and it is someone’s right to not to help you. You cannot force someone to be generous. That is a character trait that you either have or you don’t. Once someone is forced to give up their money or property it is no longer generosity. In reality, it is theft and coercion.

Generosity brings about good feelings between the giver and the recipient. Coercion does not and causes anger and friction between the one forced and the recipient. So, you are entitled to what you work for and you can be a recipient of generosity, but you are not entitled to what is not yours or what someone has but does not want to share.

Dedicate your work to God and He will sustain you and reward you in due time. No one on this earth owes you anything. Even Jesus spoke a bit to this labor issue.
Luke 17:7 But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat?
8 And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink?
9 Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not.
10 So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.
Whatever contractual agreement you have with an employer that is all you are entitled to have and all he is required to give. Want a walk out? Fine, walk out to a new job, not hinder the work of your fellow employees by closing down the plant. I have seen the negative effect of that several times in my life.
Jesus, thank Him, does not give us what we earned if we come to Him. He gives us what we do not deserve. Indeed, many in Christianity need to be reminded that whatever fruit they are experiencing in their ministry comes from Him. They also need to be reminded that they do not deserved a certain lifestyle that requires fleecing the sheep to make it happen. Their final performance report before the King may not be a glowing as they think it should be.

Heaven is not earned. It is a gift of grace and even our rewards will only happen because we walked in the Spirit to get some works of gold, silver, and precious stones. That is why we will throw all our crowns back to Him as we know it was His work in us. Otherwise all we would have wood, hay and stubble. Aren’t you glad that we can have all our works burn up and still be saved? (1 Cor 3:11-15)

Now, go to work in the power of His Spirit in a grateful spirit.  It will amazing how much better that job is and how much easier it is to work with those people.  How things have changed!  No, you changed.  That is all you can do and you are not entitled to demand their change.

Perks and all the other stuff we Americans strive for?

Philippians 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

1 Timothy 6:8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

Shalom!  Maranatha!


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