The world owes you nothing

MarkTwainquote

The world owes you nothing.

The world owes you nothing.  Entitlement has swept across our nation like a tsunami, and in its wake is endless debris of unmet expectations.  People are deeply hurt because of the chasm between who they wanted to be and who they really are.

A few years ago I met a young man, a teacher.  He had a decent job and a wonderful group of close friends.  According to most, he already had a good life, maybe even a great one.  Healthy, reliable job, great friends, and solid spiritually.  He was living the young adult dream! Not the typical person to darken my door asking for counseling.

I listened closely as he tried to explain the reason for his inner turmoil.

He basically was depressed because he wasn’t who he thought he SHOULD be.

So I asked, “who SHOULD you be?”  He had a really difficult time landing the plane, fishing for an answer and coming up with nothing.

After a few moments of half finished sentences I was able to piece together where he was going.  He was frustrated because the world wasn’t responding to his dreams, desires, and expectations like he wanted.  He truly believed he was entitled to happiness.  Not just a culturally agreed upon version of happiness, his ideal version of happiness.

It’s crazy how a young man living a good life can be so miserable.

He is the epitome of the “every kid gets a trophy” generation. 

After a few conversations I became certain his bedroom had a wall full of trophies screaming, “You’re much greater than you really are.”   As an adult he believed it.  He should be the boss.  Everyone should pick his idea. The principal needs to listen to everything he has to say.  Why?  Because everyone and everything has told him he is the best.  His real emotional chasm was a result of the slowly emerging awareness that he isn’t perfect.

He, like many, had married his personal value into a false sense of greatness.

Do you know what all these unmerited accolades ended up giving him?  Discontent and depression.

So, what does encouragement look like? Where should your identity be?

Love.  Real love is the knowledge that you are chosen despite your flaws.

I want to build in my children a deep security that rests in receiving and giving this type of love.   This is the message of Christ.  You are fully known, the good and the bad, and still chosen by him.  Anything materially good that comes your way is a gift.  Any praise that comes your way is nice, but at the deepest level it shouldn’t really define you!  You don’t need to be rich, powerful, brilliant, or popular to be valuable before Christ.  Let your deepest security be in the knowledge that you are fully known by Christ and still chosen.  All that you are.  Jesus still chooses you.  Receive this love and show it.

The world owes you nothing.  Christ gives and demonstrates the greatest thing you need and the world needs from you—real love.  So work hard and give life your all, but let your deepest personal value be in real love.

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