Following God One Step at a Time

Duty Overemphasized

on April 21, 2012

My comments today are based on my thoughts and Bible study discussions, not directly from the Bible study book “Duty or Delight?” by Tammie Head.

We do many things out of duty.  We  go to work, wash dishes, do laundry.  These things need to be done, so we do them.  But when we do things out of duty as Christians, we can become like the Pharisees.  Do we go to church, pray, and donate money, out of duty?  If duty is our motivation, we can become legalistic, judgemental, resentful, or crabby.  If we find motivation in our thankfulness, then we can enjoy the things we do, and become happier, more friendly, and more forgiving.  Then we become more like Jesus.

There have been times when I really looked forward to going to church.  It was such a joy to talk with other Christians, sing worship songs, learn from the sermon, and have time to think about Jesus and ask for his forgiveness during communion.  When I was most involved at church, I sometimes was grumpy, or complaining, and I should have taken this as a sign that I was pushing myself too hard out of duty.  Looking back, I can see that, but I didn’t see that at the time.  Because of illness, I have had a few years to rest and reflect and study God’s word, and I found my joy again in attending church.  I also found my desire to get more involved.     I am finding joy again!

Jesus wants our joy to be complete, and He tells us to do that by loving one another.    I encourage you to find more joy in your life.  Duty is fine for sweeping the floor, but Jesus wants love.

I pray that we find more joy in our lives by doing things because of the love Jesus has for us, not because it is our duty.



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