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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

6 November 2013: Angus McAllister, St. Mary Magdalen, Sheet

From Entitlement to Enlightenment

“But I deserve it!” we exclaim, contemplating a highly desirable new smartphone / holiday / new car / whatever; “I’ve worked hard for it”. Thing is, do we really deserve it?

Let’s zoom out of the hurly-burly of daily life for five minutes, shall we? Let’s suppose for a moment that there really is a God who made this amazing world (in whatever way that happened; let’s not get side-tracked), and provides us with all the good things we have. If it was your world, would you say that the rest of humanity was looking after it well? Probably not. Still think that everyone “deserves” all these new things, which make that problem worse? Probably not.

There’s a good explanation for this in the Bible: that everybody is basically flawed, falling far short of perfection, despite our greatest efforts. It tells us that what needs to change is not just our external behaviour, but our core motives. And this is humanly impossible. So what can we do?

It also tells us that God himself has done what is necessary for this to happen, and that if we are willing to accept this and ask his forgiveness, he will change our very beings at the deepest level. We will see that we actually don’t deserve any of the good in our lives, but have still been given it anyway. That releases us from our sense of entitlement, freeing us to be profoundly grateful for, and content with what we already have.

This article was submitted for publication in the Petersfield Herald on 6 November; it is possible that it was published earlier or may be published later.

Remembrance Day Service in The Square, Petersfield starts at 10:15 am next Sunday, 10th November

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