I was thinking about my post from yesterday about the importance of being open to receive all that you meant to receive and how this financial law reflects the Lord’s Law of Tithing. Both principles counsel us to be willing to give a “significant” amount of money to charity. Then I remembered a lesson from last semester titled “Giving Back” and decided I needed to include it.
Part of the lesson on giving back was a talk by Elder Kim B. Clark titled “Drenched in Gratitude: Protection against the Spirit of Entitlement.” In his talk President Clark warned about feeling entitled to anything. He spoke about the condition of the spiritual heart and how it is “full of receptors and sensors tuned to the Holy Ghost with capacity to receive the gifts of the Spirit.” He suggested that we check the condition of our hearts by asking ourselves five questions because they “could be early warning signs that the spirit of entitlement is at work.”
1. Are you overly critical of others? Do you look down on others?
2. Is the word ‘deserve” used frequently in your vocabulary – as in “I deserve” or “I don’t deserve” this or that?
3. Do you care too much about indicators of status and rank?
4. If you are not recognized, or accorded a privilege, or blessed immediately after doing something good – do you hear a voice inside saying “What about me?” or “That is not fair”?
5. Do you ever seek special treatment for yourself? Does it happen often?
President Clark stated that we can avoid the spirit of entitlement by developing an attitude for gratitude. He suggested “three things we can do to engender a spirit of gratitude in our lives: pray with real intent, partake of the sacrament with our hearts and minds focused on the Savior, and worship in the temple with thanksgiving. These are gifts from the Savior. He has created them for us and taught us how to use them. They are opportunities to help us always remember Him and express our love and gratitude for Him.”
I just do not believe it is a coincidence that the Lord’s law of finance – tithing – is nearly identical to an important principle of financial freedom. When comparing these laws of finance with an entitlement attitude, it is easy to see why people do not become financially free when they have the spirit of entitlement. If one has the entitlement attitude that the world owes them a hand out, how can they have the attitude of giving back a “significant” amount of what they have? I think it is obvious that we must develop an attitude of gratitude for what we have and be willing to give back to society if we truly desire to be financially free.