Highlight : 3 steps to overcoming entitlement

“You don’t take a three-year-old and say ‘Go get a college degree.’ You don’t let a three-year-old play in traffic. But you do let a three-year-old have a timeout for not picking up their building blocks. When you don’t allow that child to struggle with an age-appropriate challenge, they become weak, they become fearful, and they become spoiled.”

Entitlement can be planted in our minds at an early age. Dr. John Townsend says that it is important to let our children struggle in order to grow.

But what steps can we take if we are living with the entitled mindset as an adult? It’s never too late to change your ways, but it starts with gaining insight. Here are three things you can do to move from entitled to thankful and humble.

Pray Psalm 139.

“Go to God humbly and pray Psalm 139, ‘Search me and know me. Try my anxious heart and see if there are any hurtful ways in me’.”

Praying Psalm 139 begins to chip away at entitlement.

“We have a big God that loves us so much He doesn’t want us to have distance from Him, and He will help us. It’s our way of saying ‘God, I’m on Your operating table.'”

Get around safe, accepting, growth-oriented and honest people.

These three character traits are essential in people who will encourage and call you out as needed.

“They are safe because they can’t have any condemnation toward you; we all shrink from condemnation. They are accepting because when they know everything about you, you can trust that they are not going to bail on you. Growth-oriented because they are submitted to the process of growth themselves. They are people who truthfully say, “I’ve noticed that you blame your boss for everything.” Or “I’ve noticed that you tell everybody it’s always your kids or your wife…” In a loving way they get in your face and they start to change you.”

Begin to observe your day and ask these questions. 

Ask yourself, am I operating in a healthy way? Am I loving? Am I holding on to my boundaries? Am I doing what I should do?

“Am I taking care of life in a healthy way? and secondly, how am I impacting other people?”

It’s a challenging process, and one that forces us to lay down what we want in the moment to let God work in our hearts, but it’s worth it. When we start to see our selfish tendencies and let others speak into our lives, we can redirect our focus to God.


Dr. John Townsend is a leadership coach, organizational consultant, psychologist and best-selling author. He consults with corporations, family-owned businesses and small businesses. He is the author of The Entitlement Cure.

Key Scriptures: Isaiah 50:7; Proverbs 6:6-11

Featured Songs: The Maker by Chris August; Not for a Moment by Meredith Andrews; ‘Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus by Steven Curtis Chapman

The danger of entitlement

One Response to "3 steps to overcoming entitlement"

  • Anita Barnard says:

    Hi I am new to faith radio and I love it!
    I’m from South Aftica
    All the program are very on the mark and I learned a lot from them
    Enjoy Lee Strobel section a lot and it helped prepare me for those situations were I need to have facts about my faith and why I believe.

    I have found however that going to deep into proving that Jesus died for our sin with a non believer could become a intellectual battle and that where I bow out and let God do the growing work because my function is to plant and water the seed not to make it grow.

    For the rest of us that are born again Christians I find that because the Holy Spirit (a subject that I find is very neglected) dwells in us the Scripture is broken open for us as we read and study them in our daily growth.

    The Bible becomes a treasure chest of knowledge and truths that comes to us at the right time at the different stages of our journey with Jesus.

    God has not changed
    What he did for His people 3000 years ago and Jesus did 2000 years ago is still what he does for us today.

    He provides and will provide even when “living” is what we are told to do.

    If we put God first in everything I mean everything, he is so much in our minds and thought that our own self is getting less and less a transformation happens and doors open no man can shut and wonders happen – the modern day rat race slows down and living starts because we will be taking care of.

    Every promise that God makes He keeps regardless of how difficult impossible and down right crazy it sounds.

    If God says that I must subject and surrender my thoughts and actions to him every one and I strive to do that, I found that I become a willing to do thing that my proud self will never allow.

    Because we live in a crazy broken and mordern world today does not make the way we suppose to live our lives different we have to adhere to the Gosple guidance and allow the Holy Spirit to do the work that we just can’t.

    I sometimes feel I’m too much in my head and to little in my soul mind.
    That’s what I noticed is happening people defend our faith as if it depend on us. It does not God says to go and tell people the Good news and the rest I feel is up to Him.

    Love your insights!

Leave a comment

Have someting to add? Login or quickly create an account to leave a comment.

Grow deeper and be encouraged

Sign up for the Faith Radio Newsletter to receive compelling interviews and encouraging articles in your inbox!
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.