Thursday, June 11, 2009
A Sense of Duty
Early one morning, a mother went in to wake up her son. "Wake up, son. It's time to go to school!"
"But why, Mom? I don't want to go."
"Give me two reasons why you don't want to go."
"Well, the kids hate me for one, and the teachers hate me, too!"
"Oh, that's no reason not to go to school. Come on now and get ready."
"Give me two reasons why I should go to school."
"Well, for one, you're 52 years old. And for another, you're the principal!"
Sometimes we have to do things even when we don't feel like doing them! It's called having a sense of duty. I think perhaps the concept of duty has taken some abuse in the church. We sometimes talk about the importance of doing things for God because we want to, not because we have to. And I would wholeheartedly agree with that. But if we only serve God when we really "feel" like it, our service would be minimal indeed. Sometimes the feelings aren't there, and we need to continue to serve knowing that it is the "right" thing to do.
It shouldn't bother us to think that way because we do many other things in life for the same reason. For example, I am a father of three children. When each of of those babies entered my home, I loved them. And I provided for their needs because I loved them. But, I can honestly say that there were many times I got up in the middle of night to meet their needs when I didn't "feel" like it. There were times when I got out of bed exhausted and irritable, and the only reason I got up was because I had a responsibility as a father to meet their needs. The love is always there, but sometimes it is a sense of duty that drives you to do what needs to be done.
The same thing is true in our Christian walk. When you get "exhausted and irritable" in your service to Christ, when you don't "feel" like doing what you know needs to be done, may a sense of responsibility, a sense of duty, drive you to continue to remain faithful.
"And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, 'Come at once and sit down to eat'? But will he not rather say to him, 'Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink'? Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not. So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, 'We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.' " (Luke 17:7-10)