Monday, October 20, 2008

Culture of Sacrifice or Culture of Entitlement?

Ready for a rant this Monday morning? Here it is. I’m a football fan. Friday nights I enjoy our season tickets to the Port Neches-Groves High School Indians’ games. When time avails I’ll catch a college game on Saturday afternoon and on Sundays after morning worship at my church I enjoy floating in and out of a nap on my couch while watching an NFL game. What I do not like is how the amateur and professional athletes seem to reflect our culture’s “entitlement” mentality. Our culture seems to believe that we are all entitled to material prosperity, positive attention, and circumstantial happiness. Many even believe that certain rights, freedoms, and privileges are entitlements rather than responsibilities. This attitude was reflected to me by the recent comments of one Kellen Winslow of the Cleveland Browns.

Winslow is a tight end for the Browns, who currently have a 2-4 record. He has contributed 187 yard and one touchdown so far this season. Winslow missed last Sunday’s game due to a staph infection. He is angry. After speaking with Browns’ general manager Phil Savage, Winslow went to the media to discuss his disappointment over the conversation. Winslow said, “I didn’t get a ‘How are you doing Kellen? It’s good to have you back.’ Nothing like that… I was very disappointed. I basically told him I don’t feel appreciated on this team by you, and I feel like a piece of meat sometimes.” Now Savage is the one who negotiated with Winslow’s agent to pay the 'unappreciated' tight end a 2008 salary of almost $4.6 million. Will someone 'unappreciate' me like that??

This is just one example of the entitlement culture we live in. Let’s not just blame the superstars though. We all battle it. It is called pride. As Christians we need to heavily guard our hearts from that pride so this mentality becomes a foreign concept in the church. We need to be counter-cultural as Romans 12 instructs us. Instead of a culture of entitlement, pride, and selfish ambition we need to demonstrate a culture of sacrifice which magnifies the worth of God in our lives.

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