Life,  Motherhood

We Have To or We Get To?

Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men, knowing that you will receive the reward of an inheritance from the Lord. You serve the Lord Christ.

Colossians 3:23-24 HCSB

My life as a wife, mom, worker, daughter, neighbor, church member, and friend brings me much delight. However, my life also brings me lots of to-dos. Purchases to make. Closests to organize. Paperwork to complete. Phone calls to return. Research to be done. Pots and pans to scrub. Kids to shuttle. Parents to check on. And on and on it goes.

Sometimes when I get my list all scrawled out on paper, my mind starts looping the “poor me” soundtrack that results from just looking at my list.

Poor me . . . I have to mop the floors.

Poor me . . . I have paperwork to finish.

Poor me . . . I have to drive to get groceries.

Poor me . . . I have to take my son to practice.

Poor me . . .I have to work on the computer for a few hours to finish this project.

Poor, poor, pitiful me!

Colossians 3:23-24 addresses this “poor me” mentality by giving us a fresh perspective as we go about our work: “Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men” (HCSB). Three words jump up at me as I stop and ponder this verse:

  1. Whatever: Not just the tasks I enjoy, or the work that brings me recognition, or the duties that I happen to find fun, but whatever I do is to be done . . .
  2. Enthusiastically: This word is defined as “done lively and with great interest; wholeheartedly, sincerely, energetically and earnestly.” Hmmm . . . I’m not so sure that describes my attitude as I tackle the “whatevers” on my to-do list. How about you?
  3. Lord: It is the Lord Himself we serve as we enthusiastically check off our “whatevers.” Not a husband. Or kids. Not a boss or the committee chairperson. We are serving Jesus Christ Himself as we work.

How about we hit the restart button when it comes to our tasks? Let’s stop pouting. Rather, let’s reframe our attitudes Colossians 3:23-style.

I don’t have to clean my house. I get to clean my house—because I have a place to call my own, while many are homeless or displaced. And I’m serving the Lord Jesus as I clean.

I don’t have to fill out this team permission slip. I get to fill it out– because my child is healthy enough for physical activity. And I’m serving the Lord Jesus as I write.

I don’t have to drive to get groceries. I get to to do this errand–because we have enough money to purchase provisions and we own a car, so I don’t have to walk. And I’m serving the Lord Jesus as I shop.

We don’t have to. We get to. And thanks be to God that we do.

APPLICATION: Name one “have to” item that’s on your to-do list today. How could you turn your thoughts about this task into a thankful “I get to” statement instead?

Disclaimer: This is an excerpt from Pressing Pause by Karen Ehman. This is not our own material.