“Do I have to?” That’s often the response I hear from my children when they are directed to clean their room or walk the dog or collect the trash. I think it’s my all-time least favorite phrase they use – right up there with “Dad why is your hair so gray?” (Answer: I color it that way so I look more distinguished.) Unfortunately, children are often so self-absorbed that the idea of having to do something for someone else qualifies as #hopelessburden. My witty response is sometimes “No, you’re blessed to?” I don’t think they’re won over by that.
I’ve been thinking about my kids’ response in the context of our theme for this school year “Christ-fit for Service” based on 1 Peter 4:10-11. Our theme focus for September is Christ-fit to serve cheerfully based on 2 Corinthians 9:7: “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” God doesn’t want us serving others as a product of a guilty conscience or a sense of dutiful obligation. Instead, He desires cheerful, loving service that’s a joyful response to God’s love and sacrifice for us. If you really think about it why wouldn’t we be cheerful in serving others? We’re free and forgiven and blessed beyond measure. Everything we have is a gift to be shared with those who are in need. Let us each pray for God to equip us to serve cheerfully – including my daughter walking the dog with a smile on her face 🙂