“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30 ESV).
I sat in the rather small seating area of the doctor’s office, waiting for my appointment. I was early and the doctor was late. Although I tried to occupy myself with something I’d brought along, it was difficult not to hear the conversations of other patients. (I’ll confess—I do enjoy people-watching and listening.)
An elderly patient and her son sat near me. I glanced up as their conversation was suddenly punctuated by mom’s insistent voice. “Now when we get in there,” she instructed, “don’t you say a word! I don’t want to do any more than I have to!” Mom apparently was not a compliant patient and she feared the son being a tattletale. I puzzled at her logic. After all, whose health would be affected by hiding pertinent information—the doctor’s or hers?
Her words, “I don’t want to do any more than I have to,” have stayed with me. It’s not just unwilling patients who adopt this philosophy. It’s possible we have fallen into this thought pattern at one time or another. Perhaps it’s a job situation or feeling overwhelmed with things at home. Or—dare I say it—in our service to God. We feel weary and just want to do the minimum to get by. To succeed in anything in life, including serving God, we must embrace the want to attitude.
We often use the expression that we are “living for God.” If we truly live for God, we must go beyond have to and move into the realm of want to. It is impossible to serve God grudgingly or with the attitude that “I’m just doing this because it’s required.” Where is the joy with this attitude? Colossians 3:23 tells us, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men” (ESV).
Prayer: Lord, help me to serve You with an attitude of joy and willingness. I want to love and serve You with my whole heart, soul, mind, and strength.
Devotion by Mary Loudermilk