Our new congregation put together a devotional booklet this fall and encouraged everyone to submit. Below is my submission…I thought this busy holiday season was a great time to reflect on the topic of “shoulds” that often come from being part of a family. I certainly don’t advocate saying “yes” to every request that is made of us, but I do think that often, as a culture, we’ve been too “Oprah-ized”…we have been told over and over to “say no more”, “step away from un-necessary responsibilities” and while we all need to find a balance that works for us, I think too often people are being down right selfish with their time and talents under the guise of “not being over committed”. Just some food for thought…
“But, MOM, I want to go to the PARK, not the BEACH!”
“I understand that, but we voted and the park won. Sometimes being part of a family means that you have to do things that the others want, instead of what YOU want.”
This snippet of conversation took place a few days ago. As I spoke the words, I almost lost my breath - the truth that I was sharing with my son was hitting me hard.
I admit to being part of the generation that wants things their way, and wants it NOW. In fact, if things aren’t going our way we’re not phased! We have numerous resources at our disposal and we’ll simply take another route that fits into our plans a little better. Are we “spoiled”? “Entitled”? Perhaps. Mostly, we’re HUNGRY.
We’re hungry for a home, for a family, for a feeling of belonging. Where do we find it? For me, it has been in a fellowship of believers…and, for me, being committed to that family encourages me to do things that may not be my first choice. Giving an offering, fulfilling confirmation goals, volunteering when asked, or hosting others may not be my first impulse; but as it is with so many things, doing what is best for the group strengthens my sense of belonging and blesses me in intangible ways.
What I work on next is making sure that I heed Colossians 3:17 (ESV) “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Working to seek a heart from which my actions are not of pure sense of obligation, but the joyful response to my Father’s love and an expression of that love to those around me.
Hopefully this gives you some food for thought…are you saying “yes” out of obligation and doing things for your family, church, school, etc. with heart full of disgust? Or are you saying “no” for selfish reasons? May you easily find a heart that gives an answer that is founded in joy and truth.