The Entitlement Cure

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We can see it all around us every day. It is an attitude of thinking everything is guaranteed. But is it? Life demands hard things and hard work which then results in success. But we must do these hard things the right way – God’s way.

In his book, The Entitlement Cure, Dr. John Townsend seeks to help us expose the attitude in ourselves so that our lives fulfill their intended purposes, God’s purposes.

He defines entitlement as, “The belief that I am exempt from responsibility and I am owed special treatment” (page 19). This attitude is universal and insidious and if we do not guard ourselves, we will fall prey to it.

Dr. Townsend points out several common scenarios in which it is easily recognized. It is seen in :

  • the one who is able to take care of themselves but expects others to take care of them
  • the one who performs poorly on their job but expects to receive raving job reviews, pay raises and promotions
  • the one who sees everything wrong in their marriage and knows it is the fault of their spouse
  • the customer who expects to be taken care of immediately because their time is more valuable than others

Entitled individuals are not easy to be spend time with as they put their loads on those around them. And if we’re honest, others cannot carry any load but their own.

So what are we to do?


Dr. Townsend points us to The Hard Way, which is the only way to find success, and that way is God’s way. It is:

The habit of doing what is best, rather than what is comfortable, to achieve a worthwhile outcome.

Following God’s ways may be difficult for a while but they yield the desired outcome …

“In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:6, NIV, 1984)

This book was gentle yet firm, helping me to see areas where this attitude had crept in. Dr. Townsend has written this book in such a way that he has made a difficult topic feel like a personal conversation, or better yet, a counseling session with him.

This is truly a must read for any of us. It is only as we all fight against this attitude that we will make our world a better and more productive place for us all.


*** This book was provided to me in exchange for my honest review, which it was my delight to offer.

Today I am joining … Booknificent Thursday and Literacy Musing Mondays .

Day 7: What’s the Cost?


I enjoy watching HGTV. I am especially hooked on any shows that feature home renovations. Often I find one which will feature a homeowner who begins a project but gives up somewhere in the midst of the project and usually when the mess is at its worst.

Homeowner Renovating House

One day, Jesus addressed a large crowd which had been following Him. Jesus was a popular guy. But He knew something many in the crowd did not yet realize – the cost of following Him. So in telling them to follow Him, he also said …

“But don’t begin until you count the cost,for who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it?” (Luke 14:28, NLT)

Jesus was not looking for a hasty or emotional decision. He was looking for those who would be faithful to Him, choosing to stick with Him no matter how difficult the days would become.

Let’s face it – Jesus was exciting. Miracles were happening and He was turning the social order upside down.

But Jesus knew all things and He knew what lay ahead for His band of brothers in the short years ahead – ridicule, rejection, persecution, disappointments, and death.

9780800726720In her book, Taming the To-Do List, Glynnis Whitwer writes:

“It matters to Jesus that we finish what we start. And it matters that others will look at our lives and see how well we follow through on our commitments. And one way we finish well is to count the cost of our choices.” (page 52)

Taming The To-Do List addresses the fact that we are carrying a burden each day we truly cannot meet. We have more demands on our lives than ever before. But are we counting the cost and doing our best work? This is the one of the questions Glynnis explores.

This book is rich with solid and biblical wisdom to help every woman prioritize her life. The suggestions will help many to choose their best work over their busy work.

We all have choices to make each day as to the responsibilities and activities we will do. We all are given the same 24 hour segment of time, called a day. How will we spend it? The choice is ours to make. And we make it every single day.

God has placed potential in each of our lives to fulfill His purposes while here on earth. But we are the ones who must make the determination to steward our stories well.

May we make Him a priority in our lives each day.

May we not leave any projects left unfinished.

Calculate the cost.



This is Day 6 of 31 Questions Jesus Asked. You can find the entire series here.

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Today I am joining … Three Word Wednesday and  Wedded Wednesday and Tell His Story and Women With Intention and Literacy Musing Mondays and Booknificent Thursdays .


*** I received a copy of this book from Revell for review purposes. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.



Day 6: Why Worry About Specks?


Studio shot of two contact lenses on gray background

Contact lenses. I love wearing them as they definitely improve my ability to see. But then, there are those days, when a minute, almost invisible piece of lint can create discomfort and annoyance.

The undetectable source of discomfort will cause my eyes to tear, blink hard and pinch. I remove the contact, rinse it, put it gently back in place only to realize – it is still there. It isn’t always recognizable or easy to find.

Long before contacts were on the scene, Jesus had a question regarding this same problem …

“And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye”?
(Matthew 7:3-4, NLT)


So very often the fault we criticize in others is the very shortcoming in our own life. We often exaggerate the faults of others while underestimating our own. We notice the speck in the eyes of others as if using a magnifying glass. And the log in our own eye, we do not even observe it or see in ourselves. We minimize those.

Jesus is not telling us that the speck in our friend’s eye is none of our business. Instead, He is telling us to first correct our own faults. We will never see clearly until we do.

Closeup of a woman's blue eye wearing contact lens

May we be merciful and gracious, less critical. Let’s tend to our own faults and shortcomings. I once read,

“If we had no faults ourselves, we should not take so much delight in noticing those of others.” (Francois duc de La Rochefoucault)
(taken from the Key Word Commentary, page 975)

Logs first.
Then specks.


GetInline-7This is Day 6 of 31 Questions Jesus Asked. You can find the entire series here.

Credits: Photo 1; Photo 2

Today I am joining … Testimony Tuesday and Unite and Intentional Tuesday and Reflect and True Story and #RaRaLinkup .

Day 5: Aren’t You More Valuable?


“Hi. My name is Joanne Viola. And I am a worrier.”

There I said it. It has been said that the first step to overcoming a problem is admitting it. I worry. A lot. I worry till I get to the realization that more than worrying needs to be done. This is usually when the light bulb goes on and I do the more, I pray.

The word “worry” means “to be anxious, to be divided or distracted by.” (from The Woman’s Study Bible)

Worry will divide us as we cannot both worry and trust God at the same time. It will also distract us from doing that which we can do to resolve or change our circumstances – it will keep us from praying.

Jesus asks this question:

“Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him that they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?”
(Matthew 7:26-27, NLT)

A white crowned sparrow, Zonotrichia leucophrys, perched on a tree.

Jesus indicates our obvious need for food, shelter and clothing. He knows we have need of these. So what is He trying to get us to discover through His questions?

  1. We are each valuable to God. Why are we valuable? Our worth comes simply from the truth that we have been made in His image. We are the only living things created in His image. This one difference, bearing His image, is the very reason we are valuable.
  2. Worrying is pointless. Nothing will improve or change by worry or being anxious. We cannot add a single moment to our lives through worry. There is nothing to be gained through the action of worry.

Rather Jesus points us to the birds who are cared for by His Father. All that they need is supplied to them. And He promises to take care of us as well, providing for our needs and comforting us when worry and anxiety nips at the corners of our minds.

American Tree Sparrow in Snow

Jesus hopes to make us realize, “If God lavishes such concern over the rest of his creation, how much more does he love us!” (taken from the New American Commentary, Vol. 22, page 125)

“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1, NIV1984)

Jesus asks the question to make us realize,
We are valuable to our God.
And He loves us with a love which is great!

Firecrest (Regulus ignicapilla) male displaying orange crest, Liechtenstein



GetInline-7This is Day 5 of 31 Questions Jesus Asked. You can find the entire series here.

Credits – Photo 1, Photo 2, Photo 3.

Today I am joining … Sharing His Beauty and #SmallWonder and Inspire Me Monday and Playdates With God .

Day 4: Who Will You Love?


There are days I look at my two granddaughters and my heart feels as if it will burst open. My love for them is more intense than I ever could have imagined.


Each of them, different from the other, equally as precious. And they are easy to love because they are just flat out lovable!

If we were to be honest, we all have people in our lives who aren’t as easy to love. Perhaps loving them even comes as a challenge. Maybe I am that person in your life :) I surely hope not.

Jesus asks this question …

“If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even the tax collectors do that much. If you are kind to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? “ (Matthew 5:46-47, NLT)

Jesus is clearly asking us to think about how do we love those who are difficult to love – the unlovable, those who hurt us, perhaps even our enemies.

Whatever emotions may be involved, “love” here refers to “generous, warm, costly self-sacrifice for another’s good.
(New American Commentary, volume 22, page 115)

Costly self-sacrifice that is in the best interest of the other person. Yes, even those who have mistreated us or are unlovable.

Jesus was challenging the traditional teaching and asking us to go beyond, to go the extra mile. He was asking us to let them bring out the best in us not the worst. And that best is His love deposited in our hearts through His Spirit. To love when it is the hard thing to do and not the easy.

Later on in Scripture, Paul helps us out a bit by explaining how we are to accomplish this,
“Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us ad offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.” (Ephesians 5:1-2, NLT)

We follow the example of Jesus. We love. We self-sacrifice. We do the hard thing.

By loving people, we don’t become followers of Jesus.
We love because we are followers of Jesus.
And in so doing,
We become recognized by our love and actions towards others.


GetInline-8This is Day 4 of 31 Questions Jesus Asked. You can find the entire series here.

Today I am joining … Still Saturday and Sunday Stillness and Spiritual Sundays and Give Me Grace and Scripture & A Snapshot .


Day 3: Are You Salty?


“Salt makes food taste good. It gets more flavor”, she told me. Probably not a surprising observation except it was seven year old, Sophia, telling me of why she salts her food.

One day Jesus gathered His disciples around him and began to teach them about salt too ….

“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.” (Matthew 5:13, NLT)

Salt poured on food can act as a preservative. Pour it into an open wound, however, it will sting and eventually bring healing. Either way, salt makes changes which are permanent.

It slows down the decay process only if the salt remains pure, undiluted. While salt cannot lose its saltiness, it can lose its effectiveness.

So why was Jesus asking this question? And what was He trying to tell the disciples?

  1. We are all placed strategically in our world. Jesus wants for each of us to prevent moral decay in our own communities.
  2. Jesus was warning us to beware of compromise. The only way salt becomes ineffective is once diluted or mixed with other substances. Jesus wants for our lives to remain holy in an unholy world.
  3. Just as salt enhances flavor, we can be people who enhance the environment around us. We can have a positive influence bringing splashes of joy and love to those around us.

We are each here to be the salt which brings out the flavors of God in our flavorless world. His flavor of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Some days and situations may require more salt than others. Our saltiness is needed every day, everywhere we go.

And so, Jesus asks the question …
If we, His people, lose our saltiness, how will they get a taste of godliness?

Salt shaker on table



GetInline-8This is Day 3 of 31 Questions Jesus Asked. You can find the entire series here.

Today I am joining … Weekend Whispers and Faith ‘n Friends .

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Day 2: Who Is Your Family?



I’m joining Kate Motaung for Five Minute Friday. One word prompt. Five minutes. No editing. Lots of women. All of us writing on that same word. For the month of October, I am going to try to incorporate the word prompts into my series, 31 Questions Jesus Asked.

Today the word prompt is … Family.


A couple with a baby

Jesus knew the importance of family. We can see this evidenced at the Cross, where He entrusted the care of His mother to one of His disciples.

When told by someone in the crowd of his mother and brothers who were waiting to speak to Him, Jesus asks:

“Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” Then he pointed to his disciples and said, “Look, these are my mother and brothers. Anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother!” (Matthew 12:48-50, NLT)

He was not in any way diminishing the importance of strong, loving, and healthy family ties. Not at all.

Jesus ministered to the crowds, filled with compassion by their needs and burdens, for He viewed them as His spiritual family.

Instead He was telling us that those who are a part of His family will do the will of God, His Father. With these very simple and direct questions, Jesus extends family for us. He wants us to look outside of the typical definition and see beyond the confines of our homes.

Jesus was turning the definition of family into something larger than earthly ties. With one fell question, family became redefined.

“Look closely. These are my mother and brothers. Obedience is thicker than blood.” (The Message)



GetInline-7This is Day 2 of 31 Questions Jesus Asked. You can find the entire series here.

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Today I am joining … Five Minute Friday and Faith Filled Friday and Fellowship Friday and Grace & Truth .