Our entitlement culture is strangling America. To pay for them, we are drowning in a sixteen trillion dollar National Debt and spending wildly, adding trillions every year.(Here) And that is just the funded debt. Some estimate our unfunded liability could exceed 100 trillion dollars! (Article) The thing is, we keep adding to our debt to pay for entitlements as if we actually are entitled to what we are borrowing to pay for. That really is “borrowing from Peter to pay Paul”.
Recently, Pastor David Smith of Gateway Church spoke wisdom that might explain our cultural obsession with entitlements. Pastor Smith was speaking about our lack of gratitude in the spiritual for what God has done. An Excellent Spirit believes his words apply to almost every area of life:
“Gratitude is the opposite of entitlement.” We want everything NOW! If we do not get it, we complain. We rebel and we keep it up until we get what we want, when we want it. “Entitlement breeds ingratitude.” We are not grateful for all the blessings we have. Just look anywhere else and see how blessed the American people are. Yet, as Pastor Smith told us, “We want more!” “We think we deserve it!” “A better car, a better house, a better family.” “Where does it end?”
It ends precisely where we find ourselves today. In debt, in crises and in trouble, the like of which we may never see again! Pastor Smith told us, “if you are ungrateful, you will never get what a generous God has for you. If you do not praise God for who He is and what He has done” for all of America, how can you think that ingratitude will get us what only gratitude can?
America’s Declaration of Independence recites our collective gratitude. That gratitude is at the center of what founded America: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” When we focus on what we have and thank God, who gave everything good to us, perhaps we can begin to resist the urges to get more and go further down the road to being an ungrateful, unfruitful people who are doomed to fail. Americans need to ask God, “where am I ungrateful? For what?” If we begin to do that, we just may find our way out of debt and destruction. We will certainly find our way to gratefulness for all we have!
Thank you, Pastor Smith. You said more than we realized. That is truly the mark of a man of God. Leading his people and his nation back to the God who “endowed” Americans with “inalienable rights”.