I've come to the conclusion that there are two main problems with most people in America today.
First, we, as a people and as individuals, have an extremely arrogant sense of entitlement. We don't want to be the backs on which success or liberty is built, we want to be the guy on top who didn't get stepped on. We no longer want to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, we want to be able to have what we want in our comfy slippers and prefer that someone give those to us. We demand to be served, politely and well, by our waiters/waitresses, retail clerks, clergy and government, often without giving them even a polite "thank you". There job, afterall, is to serve us. We don't, however, want to have our schedules, plans, or agendas disturbed if we have approached them at an inconvenient time and certainly not to serve someone else. We walk around like we have a right to a certain amount of stuff (whether we've worked for it or not), respect (whether we've earned it or not), and all of our rights ( to be employed and make what we deem is enough for our efforts - to a spouse that remains perfect to all our expectations no matter how ridiculous or shallow - to say and do whatever we want).
Well, guess what - the only thing we are truly entitiled to is the breath God gives us each day. That's it! That's all!
As far as what our government (ie. being an American) entitles us to, it boils down to life (meaning we won't kill you for your beliefs here), liberty (meaning fairness in being goverened and the right to make our own choices about things like where we work and how many children we'll have), and the pursuit of happiness (the key word is pursuit - we can attempt to make choices that will make us happy but not at the expense of someone else's liberty or life - that's why they're listed first). God's word, however, does not promise that happiness. In fact, it states clearly that even if we are trying to live right that "in this world you will have trouble".
We seriously need to get over ourselves. We need to be grateful for everything our God, our government, or anyone else does that impacts our lives or helps us grow (please note, I didn't say that makes us happy!). Trust me, you have no more right to the spouse, the house, the job, or even the parking space you want than another person does. If you want to put in the time, effort, and the cost to get them - fine - more power to you. If not, no one owes it to you!
Second, people need to realize and remember that no one sins in a vacuum. Your self-serving, wrong, bad, or even evil choices effect other people. ALWAYS! No exceptions!
Side note: I had someone tell me once that she didn't "do" sin. She may not have liked the term but, believe me, she did sin.
The smoker often states that he knows it's bad for him but it's his choice and he isn't hurting anyone else. We now know differently. Think secondhand smoke. When we cheat or lie, someone is being cheated - someone is being deceived. I could go on, but I'm sure you get the idea. Every time we sin we grieve God and we hurt others. We should remember, too, that sin always has consequences - to ourselves and/or to others who may be entirely innocent. Also, each time we sin (especially if we are repeating the same sin) it seems a little less "bad" and, therefore, gets a little easier to repeat. Eventually it enslaves us and has long since quit being fun or exciting. The best quote I ever heard on sin follows and then I will step off my soap box until another day. I wish I could attribute the quote but all I know is that I heard it from a friend who had heard it from her pastor.
"Sin is fun. It is often pleasureable. But, it will always take you farther than you want to go and keep you there longer than you want to stay."