One day my mom asked me to do the dishes – and I absolutely hate doing the dishes! I don’t know why, but for some reason I just don’t like dirty dish water. And my mom knows I hate doing dishes but she asked me to do them anyway.
So, I proceeded to wash the dishes, and I tried to make them clean as possible and do a good job so that my mom would be pleased and possibly never ask me to do the dishes again.
When I was finished doing them, my mom came in the kitchen to inspect my work. I was expecting her to say thank you…good job…or some kind of praise…but instead she went back into the living room.
So I was like, “Mom, did you see the dishes?”
And she was like, “Yeah.”
And I was like, “Aren’t you gonna say thank you?”
And my mom was like, “Why should I thank you for something you are supposed to do?”
And I’m like, “Okay!”
I think many times as Christians we can have the same attitude I had towards washing the dishes. We can get so wrapped up in saying, “Hey God, look at what I did!” that we forget that this is what God created us to do. He created us to be good witnesses, pastors, youth pastors, prayer warriors and out-reachers, etc.
“When a servant comes in from plowing or taking care of sheep, does his master say, ”Come, eat with me?” No, he says, “Prepare my meal, put on your apron and serve me while I eat, then you can eat later.” Aand does the master thank the servant for doing what he was told to do? Of course not. In the same way, when you obey Me, you should say, “We are unworthy servants who have simply done our duty.” (Luke 17:7-10, NLT)
God is showing us that we should not be boastful of the things we are expected to do. Instead, Christ tells us we should say, “We are unworthy servants who have simply done our duty.”
It’s never going to happen that we would do something without Christ knowing first about it, and in fact, instructing you to do it.
Paul tells us, “Furthermore, because we are united in Christ, we have received an inheritance from God. WE have become God’s inheritance for He chose us in advance, and He makes everything work out according to His plan.” (Ephesians 1:11)
God already has everything planned out for our lives as Christians – where we are to go, what we are to do, and how we are to do it – not so that we can claim it as our own work. God gave every word we speak. Everything we think about doing for Him, He gave to us.
We are simply servants for Christ, a worker for His Kingdom – not our own selfish ambitions.
Our deed, the Bible tells us, are like dirty rags. In other words, they can be masked by the intent of the heart. You can easily say, “I want to do this for God,” but just as easily turn around and say, “Look what I did…it was all me!” – taking all the credit away from God and placing it on yourself.
As Christians we really need to understand the importance of stepping back and simply doing something, not because it glorifies us, but because it glorifies God.
The Bible tells us, “God opposes the proud, but favors the humble.” (James 4:6)
So, before doing anythin, check your intent. Understand that when you do it, you need to let yourself ease into the backdrop – allow Christ to be your main focal point.
Ashley Neal attends New Life Apostolic in Detroit, MI