“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” Colossians 3:23
This past week provided me with a few teachable moments with my girls on the above verse.
On Monday morning, our five-year-old sat down to her preschool homework. She knows her letters and how to write them; but she does not love practicing them on her handwriting paper.
As she sat there, writing without applying herself to try to be neat, this verse came to mind. As I explained the verse and what it meant, she looked at me with astonishment: “You mean Jesus cares if my schoolwork is neat?”
Yes, He does. (That homework was neater than Friday’s).
Later in the week, our ten-year-old was reminded to clean her guinea pig’s cage. She reluctantly went about the task, failing to sweep up the hay around his cage. I repeated this verse, which she knows. We had a discussion about how Jesus knew she was tired and how she may not feel like doing her best, but He (and I) were still asking for her best. She passed my inspection with the second check. and, hopefully her heart was reminded of God’s expectations.
Yesterday, I awoke, still battling a bug from the day before. Not only was I physically ill, but as a result of many things, I was feeling very sad.
I kept repeating Philippians 4:8 to myself and felt like I just could not focus in the positive.
I was walking downstairs where I heard our five-year-old explaining to her oldest sister how we should do our “very best in everything, because it’s for Jesus.”
And that means attitudes too, I thought. I paused and prayed right there for God to heal me physically and also to adjust my attitude. I had been doing what I thought God wanted me to do in life, not because I wanted to do it, but out of obedience to Him. Because of my attitude, I was not doing everything with my whole heart. I was not giving Jesus my best.
Even when we are tired, or sick, or whatever, He is asking for the best we can give at that time. I also think He expects us to try to prepare ourselves to give the best, by getting enough rest, practicing stress management techniques, and spending time with Him. We can (and should), always ask Him for help so we might serve Him better!
Prayer: Lord, please help me to do my best in whatever you call me to do. And when I don’t want to give my best, please, adjust my attitude.
1) Recall a time you gave less than your best.
2) What were the surrounding circumstances?
3) If the reasons were physical, how could you prepare for that same situation in the future?
4) If the reasons were emotional or mental, how can you prepare for that same situation in the future?
5) How can you build up yourself spiritually so you can face any task God calls you to?
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