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Have To? Or Want To?

Daily Devotional for April 18, 2014

Kelly hurried to catch up with her best friend. "Jenny, wait up," she called. "What's the big hurry? For days now you haven't had time to hang out or talk or anything."

"I know, but since my mom is sick, I need to get on home," Jenny replied. "She really needs my help. She's having chemotherapy to stop the cancer, but it makes her so tired."

"I'm sorry," said Kelly. "I just miss you and all the fun we used to have." She paused."Don't you hate having all that extra work?" Kelly asked. "It must be really hard for you. I know I'd hate doing so many chores!"

Jenny was stunned by Kelly's remark. "My mom is really sick, Kelly," Jenny emphasized. Tears pooled in her eyes and overflowed as she attempted to stifle a sob. "Mom has been there to take care of me my whole life. Now I want to be there for her and take care of her and do everything I can to make it easier for her. She's been the best mom ever, and I'm afraid of losing her to this awful cancer."

Kelly impulsively hugged Jenny hard. "That was a dumb thing for me to say. I'm sorry," Kelly apologized. "I wasn't thinking!"

"It's okay," said Jenny. After a minute, she added, "When Mom got sick, I learned that when you love someone, you help them because you want to, not just because you have to."

"That makes sense," Kelly admitted. "I know I'm being selfish when I complain about the chores I have to do at home." She paused, then added, "I remember our Sunday school lesson a few weeks ago about how we'll obey God's commands if we love Him. I guess that applies to our parents, too."

"I never thought I'd say this," Jenny confessed, "but I don't think I'll ever complain about my chores again. Right now, I feel like I'll just be so thankful to have Mom healthy again that I'll even love cleaning the bathroom for her."

Kelly laughed. "I'm still not sure I can say I'd love to do that, but at least I'd do it willingly." She turned up the driveway with Jenny. "Come on. I'll willingly help you, too."

Do you serve God and others willingly—or grudgingly, just because you feel you have to? When you don’t feel like doing the things you should, admit it to God and ask for the help of His Spirit. Loving God and loving others will give you the proper motive for service, and you’ll want to obey God’s commands and willingly serve Him by serving others.

TODAY'S KEY VERSE: Galatians 5:13 (KJV)
Through love serve one another.
*Verse displayed is NKJV

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