Learning to Value Others When You Want to Shout “But It’s Mine!”
What is it that makes us feel entitled? I have to wonder if we’re born with this tendency. When they were younger, my toddlers went out of their way to try to prove this point. The word “mine” would literally ring in my ears. They both felt that everything belonged to them personally and that they were free to do as they wished with their things. If they wanted or needed something, they expected the world to stop and cater to them. I would like to say that this type of behavior is something we all eventually outgrow, but I fear that we as adults simply find new “socially acceptable” ways of acting like toddlers instead of learning how to value others the way we should.
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A while back, my youngest was coloring when she decided to start chewing on the bright red crayon she was using. When I proceeded to take the crayon out of her hand, she yelled, “No! It’s mine!” I responded, “No, it’s mommy’s crayon. I’m letting you use it. If you’re going to eat it, mommy has to take the crayon away.” I wondered at that moment if that’s how God sees us sometimes. I wanted to bless my child and let her color (which is her absolute favorite thing to do), but unfortunately, there had to be consequences if she was going to misuse what I had given her.
The Bible tells us that all good things come from God (James 1:17). If you really stop to think about it, everything we value in life belongs to Him. My marriage, my kids, and even my own body belong to God.
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Being a steward is a great responsibility. God expects us to take care of the things He has entrusted us with. Because He purchased us through the death of His only Son, we are God’s most valuable possession. With that being said, God doesn’t just expect us to take care of the things He’s given to us. He expects us to take care of each other. Jesus told the following parable in the book of Matthew:
“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’” – Matthew 25:34-40
God has placed specific people in our lives. He has entrusted these individuals to us, and He expects us to show them the love of God. I will one day be held accountable for the way I treat my husband, my children, my parents, my friends, my coworkers, and even the people I come into contact with only briefly. Do I show these people the love of God? Or do I misuse them or treat them poorly?
As a parent, I get upset when my daughters misuse their toys that I paid very little for. Jesus paid the ultimate price for us. To Him, we are the most valuable thing in all of Creation. We need to treat each other as such. It’s so easy to beat others down, to be rude, or to make them feel less than valuable.
Jesus died for all. Every person is of great worth to God, and yet we still feel a sense of entitlement. We misuse one another and desire to keep everything for ourselves instead of giving freely to those in need.
Let us see each other the way God sees us and never forget how valuable we truly are in Him.
*Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.
**Photo by Daniel Irmler at ChristianPics.co