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The Princess Syndrome (2 of 6)

Mike Connell

Page 2 of 10
We want to focus on what it means to follow Jesus, so it's a lifelong journey with Him, being committed both to Him and to His cause. I don't think you can be a follower of Jesus without loving His church. Church isn't perfect, it has many problems, probably so many problems we could spend a day or two just describing them all, but nevertheless His church is His church. It's His bride, it's the one He came for, and He will make His church perfect. I don't think we can follow Jesus, and not be engaged with His people; and also with the cause He has, in changing a community. Following Jesus means that.

I want to pick up one aspect of following Jesus, in a scripture you'll be very familiar with shortly; and so here's the first thing that you have to realise, if you're going to follow Jesus: It's not all about me. [Laughter] Tell someone: it's not all about me. Speak the words: It's not all about me! And I know that just on that one revelation, some of you could go home today very disappointed. [Laughter]

Life is not all about you; and the sooner you realise it, the happier you will become. Your family, your children, need to learn this lesson - many lessons they need to learn, here's one lesson they need to learn: it is not all about them. Wake up! You've got to fit into the world somewhere, and you've got to learn how to live in it, and make sense with it, so it's not all about me. Now I want you to have a look in Luke 15. I'm going to follow this thought: it's all about me; and I'll describe what I call the Princess Syndrome in a moment. So we read in Luke, Chapter 15 - now I'm going to come to the discipleship verse in a moment, but I want to give you just something that'll make sense to you now, when you see this. When I go to the passage that Jesus said what it means to follow Him, you need this in the back of your mind, as we're going there.

Now you know the story. This is the story in Luke 15, and it's a revelation of who God is, and what God is like, in three phases; Jesus is the shepherd. God reveals Himself as the one who lights up our way, the Holy Spirit. He also reveals Himself as Father, and this story about the Father - we call it the Prodigal Son - but it's actually about the extravagance of God as a Father, and His love as a Father. Now we've ministered it to you from the perspective of the Father's love. I don't want to approach it that way. I want to look at it a different way. I want to have a look at the younger son's ruin, and why he was ruined. I want to draw your attention to four words, and here's the first two of them. The first two of them are found in Verse 12: And the younger one said to his father, father, GIVE ME - give me my share of the property. Give me - and we find from that point on, he goes progressively down into total ruin. Then there's a turning point comes in his life - verse 17, he came to himself and said: how many of my father's hired servants have bread enough to spare and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I'll say: father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I'm no longer worthy to be called your son. Here it is - MAKE ME. Give me the path to ruin; Make me the path to promotion. Now if you just took that away you'd have something. Give me, is the path to ruin. Now you notice here in the story, give me; his mentality is this: It's all about me. It's about what I want. He has a sense of entitlement. I was interested in reading the American elections recently, they said there's a major concern in the way the country is going. It is moving away from it's foundations of personal responsibility, and moving towards a sense of entitlement - that the Government needs to come through for me, and provide something for me. That is the road to ruin.

When you get a sense of entitlement, it's my right - to have a sense of entitlement means: I believe that I am owed something, by someone. The Government owes me, the church owes me, my parents owe me, someone owes me something. That kind of sense of entitlement is identified by the two words 'give me.' Give me - spirit of entitlement, a sense of entitlement. He had no interest in the welfare of his father. In fact actually, a person who's got this 'give me' mentality sees people from the perspective of: can I use you to get me somewhere? Give me. It's all about me. I want something from you, that will help me get to where I want to get. There's an expectation of special treatment. I'm special, you should break the rules for me. I should get this ahead of time. I should get what I want, when I want. Notice he's also strongly promoting himself - me, I want you to give to me. It's about me. I want to fulfil my own destiny, and I want to be free of restraints; so his focus is on his personal rights. Dad, you're going to die, and I'm going to get a share, but I'm not interested in waiting. I want it all, and I want it now!