2010-04-25 Choosing Life Over Entitlement

It’s a choice – Last week we talked about Freedom From Entitlement. This week we want to engage the motivations for choosing the security of entitlements versus the risk of responsibility and becoming entrepreneurial. Overcoming the poverty mentality is really another way of looking at spiritual maturity. Choosing, or deferring, life and creativity and prosperity and our destiny are decisions we all make every day whether we intend to or not.

This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Deut 30:19-20 NIV

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10 NIV

Why we choose security over destiny – The servant who buried his talent for fear of losing it describes the poverty in most of us at some level. Notice his attitudes; I’m suggesting that there are clear social and theological reasons for choosing poverty. Can you see them?

“Then another servant came and said, ‘Sir, here is your mina; I have kept it laid away in a piece of cloth. 21 I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man. You take out what you did not put in and reap what you did not sow.’ Luke 19:20-21 NIV

“The next servant said, ‘Master, here’s your money safe and sound. I kept it hidden in the cellar. To tell you the truth, I was a little afraid. I know you have high standards and hate sloppiness, and don’t suffer fools gladly.’ Luke 19:20-21 The Message Bible

The slothful servant believed God is a hard man. He is a God of both justice and mercy. God’s goal for us is competence and fruitfulness. I think the servant understood the justice but missed the mercy. God himself is willing to help us get there. In fact, “He gives the increase!” However, the penalty for not trying is “wicked and slothful servant.” That’s not a label I want!

Secondly, the servant understood that God takes what He did not sow. Here is where we totally miss the nature of God. Like the servant, we often believe that God should give us things (entitlement mentality). The truth is that God expects us to “sow our talents” until they multiply. Paul said, “I planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.” (1 Cor 3:6)  The servant’s instructions were to put the money to work (do business) until he returned (Luke 19:13). Get it? It’s our job to sow, do business, and take the initiative. Will we make mistakes? Of course! I would much rather make a mistake trying to build the Kingdom and inherit my destiny than sit around waiting for an entitlement to show up and call it faith.

Can you see where the anointing to increase is? If we are willing to sow (show initiative and use our talents) God gives the increase. It’s only when we become willing to step into our talent that “life” begins. The life that Jesus promised isn’t for the timid and faint of heart; life is inherited by those willing to step into their land with courage, persistence, and discipline. Their watchword is “competence.” They arrive at competence through mentoring. It’s not magic… or even hard. In fact, it’s fun!

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. 2 Tim 1:5 NIV

What are talents and minas? – You can view talents and minas as money, talent, opportunity, gifting, etc. We each have been given an exciting destiny. Our job is to choose it and sow into it to make it happen. Let’s go one step further. God has written into our heart’s desires the role he would like us to play in the Kingdom. Your assignment isn’t just what you have a talent for, it’s something you really enjoy doing. For many in poverty, the good news is simply too good to be true! They don’t believe it.

The social drivers – This battlefront is also seen in cultures and politics. Listen to Dinesh D’Souza, a US citizen who emigrated from India.

“In most countries in the world your fate and your identity are handed to you; in America, you determine them for yourself. America is a country where you get to write the script of your own life. Your life is like a blank sheet of paper, and you are the artist. This notion of being the architect of your own destiny is the incredibly powerful idea that is behind the worldwide appeal of America. Young people especially find irresistible the prospect of authoring the narrative of their own lives.”

Pg 261, The 10 Big Lies About America by Michael Medved

PS: I highly recommend this book. It exposes ten common misconceptions about the history of the United States and it will leave you an informed, unashamed patriot… proud of our spiritual heritage and exited about the role we’ve been given to build the Kingdom.

Examples of entitlements – I’m giving some examples of entitlements in the US available to everyone.

Social Security – Social security is a government pension fund that is mandated through taxes. Everyone pays into it. It does provide some income upon retirement. The downside is that it has encouraged an entire middle class to believe their retirement was covered so they generally have not saved for themselves and they are not passing along any inheritance to their children. The fund may not exist! The government has spent the money, so baby boomers approaching retirement are not likely to receive their benefits. Inflation tends to make the payments inadequate to live on, and the bankruptcy of the system makes it the largest “Ponzi scheme” a government has perpetrated on its citizens in history. The sad mystery is the wealth lost to Americans who never considered the option of investing their own savings in either a business of their own or as stock in another prosperous business.

Welfare – Welfare in the US was reformed in 1996 to limit the duration of benefits and encourage education and employment. Since then, the welfare rolls have declined. Prior to that, the system paid more per child. The net effect was that mothers didn’t need working fathers, and marriages were negatively affected. In 2004, 56% of black children lived in single-mother families, compared to 22% white and 31% Hispanic. Welfare created a culture of dependency and gang activity, and reinforced the poverty mindset. Star Parker wrote a book about the whole ugly cycle aptly entitled Uncle Sam’s Plantation.

Education – Public schools in the US are funded by state and federal funds. This was not the case historically, but education is now considered an entitlement. For grades K-12 the government has given us the most expensive education system in the world on a per child basis and it ranks 25th in the world when measured by academic performance. Christians are opting for home and private schooling options in ever greater numbers because the federal government mandates the absence of prayer and imposes either an amoral or immoral perspective on many issues. Sex education is used to promote the gay lifestyle, for example.

Conclusion – There are many more examples of poorly performing entitlements. They are simply illustrations of the importance of personal responsibility. When we own the issues and take responsibility to act, great solutions appear to every problem (see one of our prior newsletters The Next Great Idea). Expecting a secular entity like the government to provide for you can make God’s real provision invisible. That is the blindness of entitlements imposed by the poverty mentality. What if the blinders come off and we look at something, like poverty, through God’s eyes?

Eradicating poverty – The goal of reducing or eliminating poverty worldwide is noble, Kingly and Biblical. The two traditional solutions offered are church outreach programs or government outreach programs. One relies on tithes, the other relies on taxes… sounds about the same doesn’t it – “What can we do with other people’s money?”

I simply want to suggest that the real answer is Releasing Kings, becoming entrepreneurial, allowing free markets and personal initiative. Government and Church can facilitate the work of Kings but those institutions cannot perform the work God has assigned us. God works through such things so mightily that 100’s of millions are being lifted out of poverty as we speak. Listen to Fareed Zakaria, of CNN and Newsweek:

“Over the past quarter century, the global economy has doubled every 10 years, going from #31 trillion in 1999 to $62 trillion in 2008. Recessions have become tamer than ever before, averaging eight months rather than two years. More than 400 million people across Asia have been lifted out of poverty. Between 2003 and 2007, average income worldwide grew at a faster rate (3.1 percent) than in any previous period in recorded human history. In 2006 and 2007- the peak years of the boom – 124 countries around the world grew at 4 percent a year or more, about four times as many as 25 years earlier.”

Pg 43, The 5 Big Lies About American Business by Michael Medved

We’re Dancing,

John and Sue

www.Releasing-kings.com

Desire to Destiny is available now at our store along with reviews. Not sure what your dream is? This book will help you pull the curtain back on your future.

Newsletter – If your newsletter comes incomplete (filtered), you can always catch the latest version in our archive along with nearly 200 others. 1400 people from around the world get Kingly encouragement from our weekly newsletter. Invite a friend to subscribe – they will be blessed.
How to Start a Small Group
– Kings are increasingly getting involved in Bible study or mentoring groups to facilitate their “Release.” Here are some helpful suggestions www.Releasing-Kings.com/Starting-a-Group.html. We’ve also updated our Vision Brochure with graphics show how to become a King and how your can help Release Kings.

French Translation – Releasing Kings is now available in French thanks to the efforts of Cees Bakker and Support Ministries in the Netherlands. In France, copies can be obtained from Editions Menor or Librairie Chretienne CLC. The Title in French is  “Libération des Rois pour le ministère dans le monde du travail”. Cees is also the guy who made the Dutch translation possible – available through his website. He can be contacted for Releasing Kings conferences in France and throughout Europe.

Facebook – I’m starting to post more information on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/john.garfield1

PS: I want to recommend some follow-up reading.

Who is God by Harold Eberle provides the best explanation of the open view of God. It’s must reading that connects our perception of God with everyday life.

Releasing Kings for Ministry in the Marketplace takes that foundation into marketplace ministry and the entrepreneurial nature of Kings. Fruit in the marketplace naturally springs out of sound doctrine.

Desire to Destiny – Takes the foundation and marketplace ministry and puts them in the context of seven practical keys or stages of growth you can apply in your own life.

You’re invited into the vision to release Kings; communicate the message, make the money, and do the mission.

1.The Message – Our first goal is to get the Releasing Kings message into the hands of the messengers that will carry it… do it, preach it, teach it, example it.

2.The Money – The second goal is to help Kings break out of poverty by networking them with practical opportunities to prosper. We want to introduce them to the right people, the right opportunity, and the right financial approach.

3.The Mission – Network Kings with opportunities to mix business and missions. Accomplish the great commission through the marketplace and occupy the Seven mountains of: business, media, arts & entertainment, education, family and government in addition to the church. See video #1 and video #2

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You can get your copy of Releasing Kings for Ministry in the Marketplace or Desire to Destiny at

1-800-308-5837 (or)

www.releasing-kings.com

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