Thursday, July 24, 2008
Feeling Obligated To Do Good, Or From A Joyful Heart?
This morning as I was washing the floors and dusting the furniture, I was thinking about the difference between being made to feel obligated to do good and willingly doing good from a place in our hearts that springs forth with real joy.
I have sat in many a church service where you are made to feel quilted into giving or volunteering for some job that needs to be done. The joy isn't there, and at times you actually resent being asked, cornered. It doesn't have to be in a church setting, it can be anywhere, even something like helping a family member move furniture or help do a big job.
Then there are times we find such joy, feel the blessing and peace that comes from helping. What makes the difference ? Is it the need, is it the results we see or is it simply the state of our hearts ? I suspect it is the latter. Even when we feel pressured to do good, the feeling of pressure might just be our own self .
I did a little search to see just what the word "joyful" would turn up in the Bible.....
Deut 28: 47 Because you did not serve the LORD your God joyfully and gladly in the time of prosperity, 48 therefore in hunger and thirst, in nakedness and dire poverty, you will serve the enemies the LORD sends against you. He will put an iron yoke on your neck until he has destroyed you.
ouch ! That is a tough warning.
Then, further on in the Bible, wisdom here, but, oh how to be joyful always ? ....1 Thessalonians 5: 16 Be joyful always;
It is all from what is in our hearts. The responsibility is ours. I wonder how much good we actually do, when our hearts are not filled with joy.
It is a silent sort of morning, sitting next to the wood stove in my rocker, watching the birds outside my windo...