The Entitlement Mentality

Text: Exodus 2:23-24; 13:3; 16:3

Our society has developed an “entitlement mentality” – particularly among the young, but anyone can be guilty of thinking that because they exist, they are “entitled” to certain things. The Israelites adopted this mindset in Egypt. Though they suffered and God delivered them, they often complained about not having what they thought they should have.

The “entitlement mentality” is contrary to certain characteristics we are to have as God’s people – contentment in what God has provided and submission to God’s will rather than seeking our own will. In this lesson we will consider some things that many believe they are “entitled” to today and contrast that belief with Scripture.

We Are Not Entitled to Happiness

  • For many, whatever makes them happy is what they believe they should be allowed to do – ex: social drinking, premarital sex, etc.
  • Yet our lives should not be about whatever makes us happy – we’re called to deny self (Luke 9:23)
  • First priority – please the Lord (Colossians 1:10)
  • Second priority – please others (Romans 15:1-3; cf. Philippians 2:3-8)

We Are Not Entitled to Acceptance

  • As many believe they are entitled to do whatever makes them happy, they also believe that they are entitled to the acceptance of others – ex: homosexuality
  • If you do what is wrong, you have no entitlement to the acceptance of the righteous (Ephesians 5:11)
  • If you do what is right, you should not expect that the world will accept you (John 15:18-19)

We Are Not Entitled to a Certain Standard of Living

  • This could include an income, type of job, level of education, quality of health care, etc. – many see these “entitlements” as purely political issues
  • This is also a Biblical issue – we are simply not entitled to such things
  • We are to be content with whatever we have (Philippians 4:11-12)
  • Through hard work, we may improve our lot in life (Proverbs 12:24) – but we must do so within the context of serving Christ (Colossians 3:23)

We Are Not Entitled to the Possessions of Others

  • This is tied to the previous point – again, many see this as a political issue, but it is not primarily one
  • Many believe they are entitled to a certain standard of living – therefore, they believe they are entitled to take from others to get it
  • The Scriptures teach that each one has a right to his own possessions (Ecclesiastes 5:18-19; Acts 5:4)
  • Of course, those who have been richly blessed ought to share with those in need (1 Timothy 6:18) – but this is done out of good will, free choice
  • We are not entitled to take from others to help ourselves (Ecclesiastes 6:1-2; Ephesians 4:28)

We Are Not Entitled to Marry Whoever We Want

  • These days, this issue usually comes up regarding homosexuality, but it is not limited to that – people believe they are entitled to marry whoever they want, but that is not true
  • God created the institution of marriage (Genesis 2:18, 22-24) – therefore, He makes the rules (Hebrews 13:4)
  • Male and female…two become one flesh” (Matthew 19:4-5) – no homosexuality, no polygamy
  • Cannot marry another while your spouse is still living (Romans 7:2-3) – unless you put away your spouse for fornication (Matthew 19:9)

We Are Not Entitled to Our Own Interpretation of Truth

  • Everyone wants to believe what seems right to them – this way leads to death (Proverbs 14:12)
  • God’s word is truth (John 17:17) – we must accept it
  • Rightly divide the word (2 Timothy 2:15) – do not twist it to your own destruction (2 Peter 3:16)


  • The “entitlement mentality” is dangerous – it is a threat to contentment and a subtle beginning to rebellion against God
  • We need to be content with all the good things that God has given us (James 1:17)
  • We must submit to God’s will rather than pursuing our own will (Luke 9:23)

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