Growing up, my siblings and I had chores; taking out the rubbish, feeding the dog, doing the dishes. As you would expect there were times that it was hard to get motivated to do them. Especially the dishes; that was just such hard work to stand there for what seemed like an eternity and scrub. We had a rota on the fridge and when it was my turn there was a customary sigh of, “Aahh! Not again. I don’t want to!” I would pick myself up from the table (or my dad would if I was being particularly sulky) and, through puffs and grunts, I would proceed to fill the sink with water and bubbles, while my brother and sister went off to spend their free time as they wanted.
I’m pretty sure I’m not the only person in the world to do something half-heartedly, just hoping that someone will see your anguish and relieve you of your post. Dad used to see me slopping cutlery into the sink and pushing it round as if it would clean itself if I waited long enough. “Come on Andrew, if you’re going to do it might as well do it properly”. I knew he was right, but then the temptation... If I make this unbearable for everyone around me they won’t ask me to do it again. Do it so badly they would rather do it themselves instead of going back later and having to tidy up my tidying up.
My mum knew this and many a time I heard her walk past me while she faithfully did all the other tidying and would say: “Do it happily or not at all.” “Suits me, I’m not happy. Thanks for the get out clause”. I would put the sponge down, but before I could reach the kitchen door I knew deep inside that me walking away meant my mum would do it. I would feel so guilty that I would walk back, say “sorry” and get on with it with a smile. Making that smile was often hard, I admit, but was so worth it, knowing that she would be proud that I had pushed through and done it.
Yes, indeed, my parents are servant-hearted, and to this day I’m grateful they instilled some of that in me. Not just ‘let’s do this because it has to be done’, but recognising that everything we do is about our heart attitude. If that’s right then we will do it properly and the joy will not just be the recognition we may receive from others, but rather the joy of knowing that we have done something, no matter how small or simple, for the Lord.
Prayer: Lord Jesus You deserve all the glory. I am sorry for not always having the right heart attitude and for seeking my own gain rather than doing everything for Your glory. Soften my heart, I pray, that it may be turned wholly to you in everything I do, so that You may be lifted up. Amen.
Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship. Provided full acknowledgement is made to Seeds of the Kingdom as the source, you are also welcome to use it in a non-commercial way and reproduce it in magazines or other Christian websites. The copyright for any commercial use of the material remains with Ellel Ministries International.