Our response to success can impact our future blessings. After refusing to be the king, Gideon decided he was entitled to a reward. He said, “I do have one request, that each of you give me an earring from your share of the plunder.” (Judges 8:24)
It was the least they could do to honor their hero. He had risked everything in his defeat of the enemy and was entitled.
It is not unusual for a person to benefit from their success – a parking spot near the door, a corner office, first class travel – one is entitled to such perks.
However, sometimes the perks that come with success can send the wrong message. The former head of a missions group refused to enter a limo that had been sent to pick him up at the airport. “The people who give sacrificially to support missions may get the wrong impression,” he said.
The head of another missions agency got into hot water over the price of his office furniture.
Gideon gave glory to God but this desire for a big payday was a step in the wrong direction.
John Delorean was the automotive genius responsible for the Firebird, the GTO and the Grand Prix. He capitalized on his fame and talent to start Delorean Motor Cars but went bankrupt. He thought he could apply his superior business skills to traffic drugs but wound up buying drugs from undercover cops. A sense of entitlement doesn't always land you in jail but it does cause people to believe that they are above the law; or at least believe that the rules don't apply to them.
David thought he was entitled to Bathsheba. Bill Clinton thought he was entitled to Monica Lewinski. The poor feel entitled to what the rich have and the rich feel entitled to the poor.
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. James 4:10