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Jonah: Belief Contradicted by Behavior (Part 39)

God is patient, isn’t He?  At dawn the next day we read of God’s action in providing something in addition to the leafy plant that gave Jonah welcomed shade.  God “provided a worm” (v. 7).  Worms are good for many things — scaring moms when one is young, baiting hooks to catch fish, aerating the soil.  This particular worm was created to . . . chew!  And it chewed the leafy plant to such an extent that the plant withered!

A loss of comfort.  How is Jonah going to respond?  Like Jonah, we are thankful for comfort when it comes — and sometimes outraged when it is taken away!  At sunrise, God provided one more item for His recipe of truth — a scorching east wind.  That wind and the sun “blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint” (v. 8).

Again we read that Jonah “wanted to die.”  God’s servant is miserable.  He is ready to watch the show of judgment — and it doesn’t come.  He is enjoying several elements of God’s good creation — and they are taken away.  And now his head is getting sun-burned and his heart is white-hot angry with God.

Jonah’s ethical system kicks in and he says, “It would be better for me to die than to live.”  And then the Lord said, “Okay.”  And then he killed Jonah.  (Not really)  (to be continued)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 8, 2017 in Jonah

 

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Time for a Great Cartoon: “When Do I Get What’s Coming to Me?”

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2017 in justice

 

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Time for a Great Cartoon: Studying and Victimhood

screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-8-45-22-pm“Self-esteem” is a tricky concept, isn’t it?  For Calvin, it appears to mean thinking highly of himself despite any evidence to the contrary.

His teacher — bless her heart! — is always trying to get Calvin to work harder, to put in the effort, to actually STUDY!

But, alas, all Calvin does is come up with more excuses — well-worded excuses, no doubt — but excuses!  His claim to “victimhood” would be laughable if it were not true for some today.

Blaming others, refusing to accept personal responsibility, expecting the world to cater to your whims — these are subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) signs of a culture which no longer values hard work, genuine humility, or gratitude for those who try to instill such virtues in us.

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2016 in victimhood

 

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Time for a Great Cartoon! (Work)

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Back in the 1950’s when I was a wee lad, I watched a TV show called “Dobie Gillis.” It was an innocent show about a young man’s life and his awkward attempts at romance.

One of Dobie’s friends was named Maynard G. Krebs. Screen Shot 2016-07-16 at 5.44.56 AMHere’s a picture of Maynard:
Maynard hated work. In fact, whenever the word “work” was used, he would respond “WORK!?”
That’s, unfortunately, how many view work today. But we were created to work (see Genesis 1-3). Work is not a result of the fall of man — weary work is!

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Posted by on July 24, 2016 in work

 

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Time for a Great Cartoon! (grades)

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How indicative of our culture is Calvin’s protest about receiving an “average” grade!  People these days want to be considered “EXCELLENT,” when the evidence may be abundant that they are only “average.”

As an educator, I can attest to the reality of grade inflation.  I’ve had many students over the years — some outstanding, others not so much.  Some come into graduate school with little to no idea how to write a graduate-level research paper.  They’ve been passed along, allowed to miss critical issues which would assist them in producing quality work.

We should not be surprised when people balk at the idea of God’s standard being Screenshot 2015-11-13 16.30.28ABSOLUTE PERFECTION!  But the God who exists is no mediocre or average god.  And that’s precisely why we needed a divine substitute to accomplish salvation for us!

Thank God for our PERFECT Savior.  The work He accomplished on our behalf was A+ quality!

 

 
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Posted by on December 8, 2015 in grades

 

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Time for a Great Cartoon! (sense of entitlement)

Screen Shot 2014-10-12 at 8.29.04 AMYou’ve gotta love Calvin & Hobbes.  Watterson gets right to the heart of much of the spirit of the age:  ENTITLEMENT!  A culture built around wishes and pill-popping and button-pushing minimizes the value of work and effort.Screen Shot 2015-10-03 at 7.39.31 AM

How do we combat the pervasive spirit of ENTITLEMENT in our culture?

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Posted by on October 20, 2015 in entitlement

 

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Time for a Great Cartoon! (entitlement)

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How does our culture engender a sense of ENTITLEMENT? This attitude is expressed in various ways: “The world owes me a living!” “I deserve to be happy!” “I have a right to live my life for myself!”

Our western culture fulfills all of our desires IF we have the time or money to indulge them.  Our constitution, some would say, guarantees the right to pursue life, liberty, and happiness!  It is positively unAmerican to deny me these inalienable rights!

Christianity teaches that we earn respect as we earn our living.  Screen Shot 2015-02-08 at 7.16.05 AMThe world owes us nothing.  God owes us nothing.  Life is a gift of God’s grace.  Unthankfulness is a primary sin of a culture which has not only turned away from God, but worships the creation rather than the Creator (see Romans 1)!

God created us in His image, but He also created the possibility of idolatry when He created Adam — Adam could choose to simply worship himself.  Entitlement flows out of a self-worship that wants others to join the congregation,  The spirit or attitude of entitlement is the polar opposite of the Christian virtue of thankfulness and appreciation for grace.  Entitlement greedily demands; thankfulness gratefully receives.  Entitlement focuses on self; thankfulness focuses on God and His mercies.

 
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Posted by on June 23, 2015 in entitlement

 

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