Wednesday, June 17, 2009

"I'm entitled to some gratification when my life is falling down around me."

That's what a man said he was thinking when he committed child sex offenses. 'Bob', who spoke on 612 ABC radio this morning, considers himself rehabilitated (though still troubled) and is living in a closely monitored half-way house after serving many years in prison. Bob spoke about the difficulties of post-prison life, the harsh (and often ill-informed) community attitudes against sex offenders, and the need for ongoing support.

It was an interesting and deeply sad interview. As a society, we have no idea how to cope with people who have so clearly and atrociously sinned. Self righteousness abounds and everyone is quick to point out that they could never do such a thing!

But what grabbed me was the entitlement thinking which Bob said he used to justify his actions at the time. Bob acted out in the way that he did because he believed he was owed some gratification, given all that he had to live through.

I may not have committed sex crimes, but this entitlement thinking is so familiar. I'm entitled to this, I deserve something, the world owes me, I've been hardly done by... These ideas are everywhere- behind each sinful indulgence I allow myself, each outburst of temper.

But the world owes me nothing. I don't deserve anything. Every mouthful of air is grace. Every minute a gift from God.

I should be thankful I have this day to live, a roof (however small) over my head, footpaths to walk on that I didn't make, shoes to wear that I could never have designed...

Could thankfulness keep us from sin?


  1. I shivered when I heard his justification. I use it all the time, just never admit it even to myself...


    We ought be thankful for so many reasons!

  2. i think thankfulness could keep us from sin if we could stay thankful all the time. For me it is such a passing mist..