Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Service with a Smile

Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Ps. 100:2
We are all called to serve. Romans 6:16 tells us that we may choose whom we serve but we still serve. Since I have purposed to serve the Lord, I love to find instructions for how to serve Him. God says to serve "with gladness." That tells me that my attitude matters! It's not enough that I do what I'm supposed to. I need to be who I'm supposed to be while I'm doing it! Websters 1828 dictionary defines gladness as "Joy, or a moderate degree of joy and exhilaration; pleasure of mind; cheerfulness." Wow! Now sometimes when I picture serving I think of a downtrodden, miserable soul who suffers through her work. That does not fit this description! Just doing what we are supposed to bring us no honors in God's book. (Read Luke 17:7-10 if you don't believe me.) God wants us to have joy in serving.

Cheerful while changing diapers, washing dishes, paying bills, playing with blocks, cleaning toilets, ironing (even the ironing!), cooking supper, getting up in the night, etc. God didn't exclude some service from being done with gladness. Even my least favorite tasks should be done cheerfully.

How can I be cheerful in my work? Have joy in my service?

1. Be thankful! Some nights when I've just put Micah in bed I still have work to do. I might need to wash the dishes, make formula, clean up the stuff I made formula with, finish some laundry, etc. You get the idea. I can be miserable because I want to go sit on the couch or I can be thankful. I can be thankful that I have food to dirty the dishes, a little boy to make the formula for, the formula to keep my little boy healthy, a washer and dryer in our home so I don't have to go to the laundrymat. Get the idea? When I spend my time doing the work telling God how thankful I am for all those blessings the time goes by much faster and I'm happier too.

2. Spend time in the Bible. I'll never know what God expects from me if I don't read His Word. I need to know what God says about His kind of lady and the work I have to do. I need to be filling my mind with good things that encourage me to have the right attitude. And I must say that most of modern culture points me to the exact opposite. What I take in influences my attitudes strongly.

3. Smile. Even if I don't feel like it. Some days just aren't up days when I wake up. But you know what? I've found that if I smile, pray, and go on about my day as if it were an up day it usually becomes one. And even if I am having a down day I don't need to smear that over everyone who comes into contact with me. Let them be cheerful! It might rub off on me!

I really can choose my own attitude! Thankfully, I don't have to be cheerful on my own. God lives in my heart and guides me in His way. And that's something to be cheerful about!

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