In the Declaration of Independence we find these words: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, ---That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
The “certain unalienable Rights” that are mentioned are “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It is sad indeed that we have drifted so far from our founding and the Bible, that many of our citizens have developed an “Entitlement Mentality.” Actually, there are illegal aliens within our borders who are very aware of this “Entitlement Mentality.” The cold hard fact is that this “Entitlement Mentality” is actually being advertised nationally. Folks are being taught how to get things from the government. Many promises made during the Presidential race were directed toward this so-called “right”. Promises were made concerning health care, housing, higher education, and even the redistribution of wealth from the haves to the have nots. Actually, the prize goes to the person making the most promises in regard to these “Entitlements.” We have become a “Welfare State” yet we do not fare well. These thoughts are not about the haves being greedy…many of the haves are involved in helping the helpless and hurting. 1 John 3:17 teachs us, “But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?” Psalm 37:25 states, “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” The US Constitution Article. IV. Section 2 is the only use of the word “entitled” referring to individuals. It states, “The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several states.” The other 3 times refer to the states. The Bill of Rights as well grant nothing in the way of entitlements.” Our Nation’s motto is “In God We Trust”, yet it is a reality that many people have a new motto, namely, “In Government We Trust.” Gerald Ford said, “A government big enough to give you all you want is big enough to take all you have.”
I read, respect and agree with most of Dr. Walter Williams articles. I think he is a very brilliant thinker. I could condense most of his writings on the subject of most government entitlements to one thought: It is obvious that his position is that the vast majority of our government’s interventions in our lives rob us of a sense of our own personal responsibility. He has often bemoaned the damage done through this so-called government generosity. I am not against entitlements per se, because I believe there is room for our government to be involved in some areas of life. For example, I believe that when we ask our soldiers to put their lives on the line, we should be willing to give them entitlements not available to every citizen. The same is true in several other areas as well.
The entitlement mentality has a built in negative aspect. “Why should I work for what I can get for free?” And when this “mentality” is passed on to the succeeding generations, it has an exponential result. In other words, “the more it grows, the more it grows.” We will soon be at critical mass, a total socialist state.
The taxpayers (of which I am one) of this land do not owe me anything. I nor my children are not entitled to a college education, free health care, free food, free housing, etc. In fact, as a Christian, I have promises from my God “to supply all my need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:19
In Matthew 17:27 you will find that Jesus sent Peter to the sea to cast in a hook and take the first fish, open his mouth and take out a piece of money to pay taxes for both of them. That flies in the face of the entitlement mentality. He did not send Peter to the other disciples to get the tribute money. Look at 2 Thess. 3:7-12 and notice v10, “if any would not work, neither should he eat.” v11 “working not at all, but are busybodies.” v12, “that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.” An “entitlement mentality” robs of manliness. If a man is able, he should work and enjoy the fruit of his labor. Eccl. 2:14; 3:13; 5:18 God created Adam and Eve, put them in Paradise, "Planted a garden" and put the man in it. Gen 2:8. Then in 2:15, we see the man was put there "to dress it and to keep it." This was before the fall of man. Man has always had the responsibility to work for livelihood.
I cannot tell you the dozens, maybe over a hundred times in these 27 years of being a pastor that I have encountered people who thought the world owed them the basics of life. Many of these people have a history of making poor life choices with bad consequences. Included in the list of consequences are mental and physical disabilities and diseases from drugs and alcohol, immoral lifestyles such as sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies, poor choices regarding education to name a few. Somehow we have developed the attitude, with the help of a liberal government, that it is our (taxpayers) responsibility to take care of the basic needs of these people. The Biblical view of the subject is summarized in Galatians 6:7-8 which states, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to the flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall reap life everlasting.”
The truth is, what we have done as a nation and even as compassionate citizens is to step in between God and man, and in essence have told the Lord that we will not allow the law of “sowing and reaping” in their lives. The result of this is MORE BAD LIFE CHOICES…after all, there are little or no consequences being allowed to affect them. Look again at 2 Thess. 3:10, “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” Notice the bad choice (not working) that has a consequence (not eating). This is one of the major reasons many millions of people in America have turned to government rather than turning to God. If the prodigal son in Luke 16 had lived in America and had received government entitlements, he no doubt would have never returned to the Father broken and repentant. We do a great disservice by not discerning the validity of their need, and we miss the opportunity to point them to the Lord and His Word.