Please tell me I am not the only one who gets tired of doing the things that need to be done. Household chores. Unpleasant tasks at work. Taking care of people. Paying bills. Attending activities. Serving at church. There are many more things we could add. We all have moments when we simply do not want to do what is right. We want to do what we want. But, as God’s daughters, we are conflicted because we know our attitudes and actions are wrong. At those times, these verses help me reset my focus:
Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. (Colossians 3:23-24, NASB)
They came alive for me the year I decided to clean my husband’s car as a Father’s Day gift. I started out cheerfully, wanting to show my husband that I loved and appreciated him. But I grew tired of the task long before it was finished. I had to decide: did I say “good enough” — even though the car was not yet clean — or push on? In my heart, a half-done job communicated half-hearted love and commitment to my husband, which was certainly not the message I wanted to send! The above verses came to mind, and I asked myself, “If this were Jesus’ car, would I be proud to present it to him as is?” The answer was definitely no. So I shifted my focus; cleaning the car was now a gift I was giving my Savior: the gift of loving my husband well, even when it was uncomfortable and inconvenient. That gave me the stamina I needed to finish the job, praying for my husband as I continued. I discovered a secret of far more life that day: I am always serving Jesus!
“It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.” That statement is true of every situation we face. Whoever makes a request of us, it is the Lord that we serve with our answer. And not just at church. Serving your family by cooking and cleaning is serving the Lord. Serving your friends by listening and helping is serving the Lord. As is serving a stranger. And serving those in your life who are hard to love. Far more life serves Christ by serving people.
That does not mean we are obligated to say yes to every request made of us: sometimes we must say no to one in order to serve the Lord in a different way. We have limited resources: time, physical energy, money, and emotional energy. When we need to choose between options, we often find far more life in opportunities where we can invest rather than spend our resources.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. (Galatians 6:9-10, NIV)
When a resource is limited, we tend to value it more. Those living on a tight budget carefully consider each expenditure to stretch their money the furthest. Those with busy schedules carefully consider each new commitment to determine whether it will add to their lives. When we value our resources, we want to invest them so we get a return. We want to gain something in the transaction. The verse above promises that our investment of doing good will reap a harvest, at the proper time. We must invest in faith, trusting that God will faithfully reward us when it is time. I think it is easy to see this in parenting. We invest countless hours caring for, training, loving, correcting, encouraging, teaching, and investing in children before they genuinely notice or appreciate our efforts. Some of our investments will not be acknowledged until we stand before God in Heaven. But we can wait patiently when we know we are ultimately serving Him, not people. Far more life views doing good as an eternal investment.
When my children were young and required a lot of my energy, an older, experienced friend wisely advised: View your day as a marathon rather than a sprint. This was especially true for me the one day each week my husband was gone before the children woke up in the morning and returned long after they were in bed that night. The children and I had an abundance of time together those days, but I had limited physical and emotional energy, and a long day. So I kept those days simple — saying no to some requests — to make the most of our time together. I was serving God — not just my husband and children — and investing in my most important relationships.
Many of us are facing a life circumstance that feels like a marathon. Perhaps we can see the finish line, perhaps not. You may be getting tired and want to say “good enough” and stop. You may have lost sight of why you are even running the race. Look to the Lord Christ through prayer and His Word for strength to keep going. Fill your mind with reminders that He is the one you are truly serving. When the course forks, and always choose the path that leads to righteousness. Find far more life in each good work you do for Him.
What task or situation are you tired of doing?
In what way are you serving the Lord Christ through it?
Where are you investing your resources? Where are you merely spending them?
Are you facing a marathon circumstance? How can you keep your eyes on Jesus?
Thank Him for offering far more life as you serve Him!