For What It’s Worth,
Let’s Talk About “Entitlement”

By E. J. Bradshaw

Having averted the fiscal clift of mandatory tax hikes and across the board deep cuts in all areas of government spending, the new Congress must reduce spending. Lobbyists are already at work trying to protect all the entitlements. Although entitlements are the focus of the following discussion, politics is not my purpose. My concern is the spiritual effects that long time recipients of government funds tend to suffer. In addition to losing their sense of self respect and their initiative to better themselves, I’ve noticed a growing lack of gratitude. “Entitlement” means you owe me! Why should I thank you? For some that attitude applies to the blessings from God as well as the gifts from people. At Helping Hands recently, this attitude was graphically illustrated by one person who was shopping in the Home Center. All our workers are volunteers who sacrifice much in travel expense and hard work without pay; and the one on duty in that department was confronted by the lady with a demand to go into the crisis closet. The volunteer explained that room was kept for those in crisis, and the lady was rude, ugly, and shouted, “There is better stuff in there and I deserve it (entitled to it) and I am going in and get what I want.” This kind of attitude is on display quite often. No gratitude or thanksgiving shown. “It’s all about me and what I want” attitude expresses itself, and the “you owe me” attitude makes one act ugly and mean.

On food distribution day recently, another recipient bitterly complained about having to wait in line too long. A volunteer suggested that she help with the distribution until her number was called. That seemed to have insulted her; she wasn’t about to help. The entitlement attitude not only destroyed her ability to be patient; she was not about to do any work!

Helping Hands operates as a Christian ministry; and the some 60-70 volunteers serve as an expression of their love for Jesus and needy people. They will gladly keep on serving; but some recipients of food, etc. need to experience God’s work of grace that makes them a new person in Christ. 1 Corinthians 5:17. A little bit of courtesy and thanksgiving would make the volunteer’s work a far more pleasant experience.

Pray for Helping Hands, and if possible, support the work with your contribution. The Christmas holidays are past but for many people, the need for food and clothing continues throughout the year. Your help, prayers, continued donations of clothing, household goods, etc. and your donation of storable food items would be greatly appreciated by the staff and workers at Helping Hands and the recipients of your generosity. $100 per year would provide extra food for an entire year for a needy senior. Thank you.

You may contact E. J. Bradshaw at 337-238-0440;