How many times a day or week do we find ourselves doing things that we don’t particularly want to be doing? I think of this often around the holiday season with all of the built up expectations that inevitably encircle these times of merriment.
We run here to be at this house. We drive there to be with this group. We go to this party to be joiners. We go to that dinner to be communal. And all the while, what we really want to be doing, is sitting at home with our glass of hot chocolate watching Christmas Vacation.
Holidays aside, I can’t help but feel like this “have-to” mentality follows our everyday lives as well, especially in the realm of spiritual disciplines. Really be honest with yourself…do you get untainted joy from tithing every week? Do you feel nothing but excitement as you get up Sunday morning for church? Does that Wednesday night Bible study really meet your needs, or could there be some other cultural motivator behind your inclusion?
“When you come to appear before me, who has asked this of you…?” – NIV
In those times when we are finding that our spiritual motivations behind our commitments are not entirely heaven-sent…what does God say to do? Stay home! Do not waste His time going through the motions of spiritual disciplines when your heart is nowhere in it the action. No discipline is better than false discipline any day.
Not one time does the Lord COMMAND our presence in the sanctuary on Sunday morning. Not one passage of scripture DEMANDS our attention to Bible study or even Christmas Eve service. God never ORDERS that our children attend vacation Bible school.
What does God command: That we love Him above all others and that we know Him to be the Son of God.