Best vs. Easy; Habits II
Luke 17:10 “And that’s how it should be with you. When you’ve done all you should, then say, “We are merely servants, and we have simply done our duty.” (CEV, emphasis added)
Today’s scripture is so instructive. I urge you to spend time meditating on Luke 17:7-10. It will rid you of every trace of entitlement in your heart, leaving you totally grateful. Jesus says, “… When you’ve done all you should, then say, “We are merely servants, and we have simply done our duty.” (CEV, emphasis added). Wow! Let’s bring this home using the marriage scenario. As a husband, you have provided and taken care of your family – big deal! You have simply done your duty. Do not say, ‘I have provided, I have done xyz so, I deserve some accolades.’ No, you do not! As a wife, you have taken care of your family and attended to their nurturing needs, hot food on the table, pleasured your husband – big deal! You have simply done what is required of you. That is what the scripture is telling us! Should what you do be appreciated? Definitely! Do you deserve some accolades? No! Ouch!
I heard a parent share that he and his wife called their children, sat them down and said to them. ‘You are God’s gift to us, and we love you. You have many needs, and we will try our best to meet the ones we think should be met such as education, clothing, housing, feeding, etcetera. But we want you to know, without a shadow of doubt, that you do not deserve anything! We want you to know that you deserve nothing!’ Does that sound harsh? Imagine that a son puts a sign in front of his room and says to his parents, ‘please knock before you enter’. That is a boy that feels entitled. What he does not realise [and he needs to be told] is that the house, including the room he thinks is his own belongs to his parents. He does not deserve anything. In fact, he is actually homeless, his parents have just been magnanimous enough to put a roof over his head. One thing that was drummed into our ears growing up is this; the only thing you are owed is an education. You deserve nothing! You only deserve it when you earn it.
The second habit of choosing what is best over what is easy is, do the hard things first. Growing up chores were assigned per child and shuffled every week such that you can wash dishes one week and sweep the house the next week. However, during holiday seasons, by default play time was priority one, so the hard chores were always put off for later. As soon as our parents leave in the morning, chores were postponed until just before they get back. I tried to keep tabs on time but there was always one more set in our football game. Then I hear the car horn and the race begins; through the back, over the fence, pack up the dirty plates, and dump them in the boy’s quarters because there is no time to wash them. Then replace them with new plates from the store with very good intentions to wash the plates later. The cycle continues until one day, the stench is traced to the boy’s quarters and the rest is history. We have to learn to do the hard things first. Prov.6:6 “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise.” (NIV).
Prayer: Lord, help me to take responsibility and do the hard things first, in Jesus Name. Amen!