Thursday, March 6, 2014

Learn to Love What Must Be Done

German poet Goethe said, "Cease endlessly striving for what you would like to do and learn to love what must be done.

Is that not the answer to our problem? The problem being, of course, that we are selfish. We have our own wants. We know what we would like to do.

I would like to go out to eat. 
I would like to sit and play the piano for hours. (No, really I don't; it would drive me crazy. I would just like to be able to.) 
I would like to sit and read or write. 
I would like to sleep in. 
I would like to go on vacation. 

I want, I want, I want. End it already! Forget what you want. Put it out of your mind. 

So what do we do instead?

Learn to love what must be done. 

We have to learn because it's a process. God has all the love and help that we need for this.  Don't expect it to happen overnight and don't expect it to be easy. But it can be learned. 

Learn to love what must be done.
Learn to love cooking and cleaning up the meals. 
Learn to love playing the piano when it's time and to love getting up when the time is over. 
Learn to love reading and writing when it's time and working on other things when it's not. 
Learn to love getting up to live this life God has given. 
Learn to love washing clothes and reading board books. 
Learn to love changing sheets and changing diapers.
Learn to love the day to day routine. 
Learn to love whatever it is you do. 

Do we even ask God to help us love what He has given us to do? I know I often don't. I buy into the world's lies that my day-to-day work is misery. If we get everything we want or get to do everything we want, we will be brats. God can't accomplish His purposes with brats.  

God can help me. God can help you. But do we ask? Do we run to His Word for wisdom and help? Do we seek Him in prayer for strength? Do we tell ourselves "no," and go do our work with a good attitude, even if we don't feel like it? 

I would suggest that we just ignore our feelings. (Obviously I'm not speaking of dealing with anger or bitterness. I'm talking about our day-to-day "I don't want to do this. I want to quit. Nobody likes me" feelings.) Know what God wants you to do and then do it. 

Do it when you feel like it. 
Do it when you don't. 
Do it when it's comfortable. 
Do it when it's uncomfortable.
Do it when it's accepted. 
Do it when it's persecuted. 

We don't expect to learn to love it. We expect to be miserable and live for the occasions when we can do whatever we want. TGIF, anyone? That is a miserable life to live. 

Learn to love what you must do. Live that life of joy that God has called you to. Don't accept the world's standard that you must be miserable in your work. Or that you must be miserable serving. or that you must be miserable loving. God makes the difference. Hopefully our lives really will be different so that others are turned to Christ. 

Isn't that the whole point? To show Christ to others in every attitude and action? 

Start learning to love your work today.


  1. What a great reminder! Perspective can make all the difference and if we choose to enjoy the work, even when we don't want to, that can make the work enjoyable.

  2. We do get to choose! That's the great part!