When the Holy Spirit prompted me to write this devotional today, I had one of those cringing moments. My calling is to share my life through stories and look for God in the every day. I try to keep myself (and my own sins!) out of it for the most part (sorry Trey!).
But today, when this verse popped out at me, I knew it was time to air my dirty laundry, er, I mean, dishes.
You see, I hate doing dishes. I mean, I REALLY hate it. When I was single, I would leave the dishes for... well, you don't need that much information. Just suffice it to say that my idea of satisfying work runs more along the lines of working out in the yard than in the house.
Unfortunately for me, my husband's primary respect-language, is a neat, orderly home.
You see where this is going, don't you?
Lately, God's been putting it on my heart (thanks so my husband's loving honesty) that I should have the kitchen neat and cleaned up when my husband comes home to work.
Can I just say, I'm not some Suzie-homemaker, whipped, bare-feet-in-the-kitchen kind of wife. God created me a powerful, strong, brave, outspoken, truth-speaking woman. So don't go down that road that I'm turning into a doormat. Just sayin'.
I'll confess, since it's just you, one reader, that I have a bad attitude about cleaning. A really bad attitude. In my mind, I need a wife of my own.
But lately, as Tom's homecoming creeps closer, I get this compulsion to get that kitchen clean. And it ticks me off, because I hate doing it.
So I've been saying a lot of 'Lord, please forgive my bad attitude, Please help me to put Tom's respect-language need before my own desire to _____ (fill in the blank).'
The other day, I was doing the dishes, saying my prayer, and the following verse popped into my head:
Whatsoever ye do, labour at it heartily, as [doing it] to the Lord, and not to men...Colossians 3:23
And it keeps coming back, those words echoing in my mind each time I begin to feel the grumblings coming on...
And I'm fine now! I can do those dishes with a cheerful heart and a respectful attitude.
Okay, I'm working on it.
What I AM fine about is the truth Jesus is teaching me: that each task I undertake, if I can keep my focus on my purpose, my goal of becoming like Jesus, I can look forward to a reward.
See, the second part of the verse goes like this:"...since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." Colossians 3:24
What's this inheritance he's talking about? I'm no bible scholar (if you are, and have good input on this, heck, chime in!), but my heart tells me that this inheritance is the gift of being like Jesus.
Is there a task in your life that has you gritting your teeth? Today, be encouraged - over time, disciplining yourself to keep your relationship with Jesus at the forefront, any task becomes a catalyst that God can use to help change your attitude, your mindset, your focus - your life.
To help you become more like Jesus.
And isn't THAT ultimate goal, our purpose?
God is all about the everyday. Not everyone will be a missionary, a pastor, a church-worker or a worship leader. The majority of us will live the everyday life as bankers, real estate agents, farmers, teachers, mill workers, truck drivers, childcare workers, mechanics, cooks...
We are ALL important in our everyday life to God's plan for the salvation of the world.
God wants to encourage you today that your job matters. He does not want you to see Sundays as the only day that means something to his plans.
Even if you never utter the name of Jesus in your workplace, your attitude, spirit and the joy and peace of Jesus will speak his name.
As you move into Monday, and a new work week, I encourage you to be asking God to use you in the midst of your everyday.
A few verses to meditate on:
1 Thessalonians 2:9-12 - Paul describing how he and Silas and Timothy preached by also worked regular 'day jobs' as well.
Philippians 2:12-16 - Living cheerfully, as an example of what life in Jesus looks like.
Romans 12: 1-2 - Your everyday life is an offering to God.
"We want to live well, but our foremost efforts should be to help others live well."
(1 Corinthians 10:24b MSG)