Main Article: The Big Brother Syndrome

By Tyler Graeff

In the past decade, there are a number of words that could be used to describe our culture as a nation. Witt, suggests the word “entitlement” as being one of the top descriptors, particularly for the younger generations. You may have opinions about that, but regardless, we are a part of an incredibly selfish culture. One where self-promotion, pride, and entitlement have become cultural norms. As believers, God has set us apart, however that doesn’t exclude us from falling into some of these cultural norms.

In Luke 15 we see pride and entitlement demonstrated in two different ways in the parable of the Prodigal Son. The first son who squandered his inheritance was entitled to the inheritance that his father gave him. He just demanded it, before it was actually time to receive it. The second son demonstrated entitlement when his brother returned home. His father invited him to come inside and celebrate but the older brother responded by saying “Look! All these years I have been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could have fun with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him”. The older brother felt as though he were entitled to more because of his obedience to his father. To argue his case, he was quick to boast in his accomplishments and point out his younger brother’s shortcomings.

As believers, everything we do is for Christ! If we boast in anything, it should be in His great power, not our own. When we get to heaven, we are not going to ask the Lord, “Where are my crowns?” They are going to be cast at the feet of Jesus. A hard truth we must come to terms with is that in this life we are not entitled to anything. We may never see all the promises of God until they are fulfilled in heaven.

Let us examine our hearts and see if we have given into self-promotion, pride, or entitlement. John 3:30 “He must become greater; I must become less.” A few practical things to help combat this in our lives could be to find ways to serve those around you, rejoice at their successes, and stay rooted in the fact that any success you have in your life comes from God.

Participant Highlight September

Name: Grant Dinsmore

Age: 21

Hometown: Smyrna, Delaware

Teen Challenge Center: Dublin’s Men’s Center 2019

Brief Testimony: I grew up in the church and learned a lot about the Bible. I was never good at the application part of the word, so shame got a hold of me. I became depressed and suicidal over a few years. I came to Teen Challenge and found the gospel. Now I live life with a hope in Jesus Christ!

What is the vision and calling that God has given you?  To spread the Gospel to broken and hurt people.

How has the ELP Program impacted you?  ELP has given me leadership tools and an opportunity to serve in ministry.

TF Highlight September

Name: Stephen Potterf

Age: 34

Hometown: Loganville, GA

Teen Challenge Center: Dublin, GA 2018

Brief Testimony: In my darkest days of addiction, my life began to spiral out of control. I was on a path of self-destruction. I came into the doors of Teen Challenge where I was met by love. God called me out of the darkness and into the light. Now I get to give back to the ministry God used to save my life.

What do you enjoy most about your role? I love to pour my heart into the guys. I am a disciple maker and character builder. I love watching God change people’s hearts.

Why do you feel that leadership and training are valuable?  In order to succeed at anything, you need the right leadership and training.