When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment.
- Matthew 8:10-13
Last May, I had a couple of posts about muted television commercials. I mute some regularly scheduled programming these days, but my very first rant was about Medicare supplement commercials, and then other rants in the same post. In the rant, I talked about how those of us who are of age cannot freely enroll in a different supplemental insurance plan until the October to mid—December free enrollment period, so someone trying to get our business in May was obviously a bunch of crooks, even though they used a variety of well-known figures as their spokespeople. It hurts that there seems to be little regulation that protects elderly that may become fearful easily and may not make clear decisions as they once did.
But in the post-COVID versions of the same advertisements, they emphasize how you cannot get the new coverages without calling and you had to call now!!! I mean NOW!!!! The word that they used over and over was “entitled.”
That word raised red flags, so I waited until October and then called my insurance company, USAA (United Services Automobile Association). They provide my wife and I with our Medicare Supplement Insurance, a Type F plan, along with renters insurance, auto insurance, and a life insurance policy. We pay a hefty monthly rate for the Medicare supplement, but about 20% of what Obamacare was. But we pay nothing at the doctor or hospital, no co-pays. With my wife’s kidney dialysis, the policy has saved us a fortune. For me, I do not visit enough doctors for it to be worth the monthly premium, but I do not know if my health will be this good six months from now. The nationwide agent that I talked to in Texas told me that these 800 numbers that promise the moon never tell the seniors that you will find that the old excellent policy that you gave up to chase a few dollars of savings in a new policy will not be available once you leave the plan. The key reason is that you were 65ish when you got the initial policy and you have aged since then, and your health history may not be as good as it once was.
I already knew that the commercial was lying. The supplement that we have paid for telehealth doctor visits when the commercial said that you do not get such coverage unless you call. A bunch of liars, since we got the coverage because it was the right thing to do at that moment.
But back to that annoying word, “entitled.” An old Scottish lawyer, Alexander Fraser Tytler, wrote that a democracy could not survive more than about 200 years. The USA has lasted longer than that, but is starting to collapse for the very reasons Tytler made his claim about the time that the USA first ratified the constitution. What Tytler was saying was that a government of the people and for the people would eventually become apathetic and apathy would lead to a feeling of entitlement. Instead of working toward better government, we will sit back and have a lousy government take care of us.
The documentary No Safe Spaces mentioned that the younger generations would rather give away their freedom in order to be taken care of.
My brother only worked fulltime as a pastor for a short period, mostly doing supply pastor work and a fulltime other job during the week. He once worked, teaching welfare recipients how to work. They were disassembling shipping pallets and reassembling them with the replacement of the broken pieces. The idea was to get people off the welfare roll and back into the workforce. My brother said that he would teach a class and get them all working on Monday, but very little real work. He would then spend all Tuesday calling the trainees to ask why they had not shown up for work. The general response was “What?!?! We have to do that again?!!? Yesterday was hard enough. I want no part of it.” It is odd that the federal government was threatening to cut off benefits if they did not take this one-week long class, but they quit after the first day. They had been entitled before and the government was going to continue to pay. My brother, who did not last too long himself, said that the joy was when one person each month, on average, would stick around all week and want to continue doing that kind of work. But you are looking at 99% failure in the program due to a sense of entitlement.
I am sure that I have missed out on a benefit here or there because I had been taught early in life that the only things that are worthwhile are those that took great effort to achieve. That proved out in my life with earning the rank of Eagle Scout and earning the rank of Captain in the Army. I worked hard for other positions that went to those who learned the lesson of office politics instead of hard work. But even with a less honorable method of getting promoted, I worked with and for people who were not of the entitled mindset.
I remember at one place where I worked that a guy got a major promotion, and I felt another fellow was better qualified. The reason for slighting the better qualified person was vicious gossip that everyone believed to be true, that the better qualified person refused to get his hands dirty. Just that little lie smacked of entitlement. And he was passed over.
While it is foolhardy to pass up the lifeboat that is freely offered to save your life, we should look upon entitlement the same way Jesus did. The Scripture above is about the centurion whose faith was strong enough that he would take Jesus’ word that his servant was healed. Jesus then compares him to many people who were entitled to be at the Master’s table, but they would find themselves gnashing their teeth instead, for a lack of faith.
Without Jesus, we are entitled to a second death and being cast into a lake of fire. I guess that is why entitlement does not seem that important to me. Instead, I will place my faith in my Savior and work in His service until I physically cannot continue.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.