What I Write About

I write about the infinite number of intersections between every day life and the good news of the God who has come to get us.

Friday, November 30, 2007


Last night at our large group we had a speaker named Nairy Ohani. Nairy has spent most of the past fifteen years serving as a missionary overseas in Armenia and most recently in Turkey.

She told lots of positive, warm-fuzzy stories about God's work while she was abroad. She was also honest about how hard it was to deal with things like police harassment and many years of labor without always seeing concrete results.

She summed up one of her stories profoundly: "God does not owe you anything just because you do the right thing."

Entitlement is a cultural pandemic. It is woven into the basic framework of our country: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These are not bad things. I rather enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

But spiritually, this breeds a consumerist mentality about God that is utterly repugnant. The whiny demanding-ness of our entitlement issues is uttered loud and clear when it comes to thoughts on God. Both the vaguely spiritual and the committed Christian feel that God has basically let them down on his end of the bargain...whatever that is. Remember a song from the late '90's? A band called Dog's Eye View and the song is called "Everything Falls Apart:"

I met God this afternoon ridin' on an uptown train
I said, "Don't you have better things to do?"
He said, "If I do my job what would you complain about?

Nairy's comments cut me to the quick. If I do what God wants, I feel like he owes me to come through for me exactly how I think he should. To let go of that frees me up to then receive what he actually has for me.

Why do I think that God should throw me a parade when I do the right thing? Is that really all that commendable?


SarahV said...

I struggle with entitlement- thinking that God owe's me when I do something right. And I think it's correct that God does not necessarily owe us. Yet at the same time, is there not some sort of blessing when we do right? Even if it's not a parade or exactly what we want, is there not some sort of blessing somewhere?

Alex said...

sarah v--i think that this is worthy of a blog-post entirely its' own. hopefully i'll get to that next week! thanks for posting!