I once tried to convince my wife that I only did something because I was made to. My wife, to her credit, didn’t buy that.
“You have never in your life done a single thing you didn’t want to do.”
She’s right. I’ve made it a point in my life to be clear that there is no one, besides the good sweet LORD that can make me do anything. Which means, I need to have reasons to do the things I might not, at first glance, want to do for whatever reason.
I do the dishes each night because my wife likes having a clean sink and I want to keep her happy and I also like having clean things to eat off of. I do the laundry (which I despise) because I need clean underwear on a regular basis and to keep up with social norms. I don’t want to use my day off to take the car in to get worked on, but my desire for a functioning car is greater than my desire to take public transportation when it’s less than 15 degrees outside in January. I may not want to do one thing, but my need for something else is greater, therefore, I do the thing I didn’t think I wanted to do because it will actually lead to something I want. So, I really do want to do things like laundry and dishes and take the car in to get serviced because what I get from doing those things is greater than the desire not to do them.
But dishes and laundry and car maintenance aside, there are plenty of things I don’t want to do, but I have to. This is where the good sweet LORD comes in. There are people on this earth I do not care for. If you’ve ever met me, you know that I’m not great at hiding my feelings towards anything or anyone. It’s a growing edge I have. My poker face is much better than it once was. But there are plenty of people I don’t like, that I think are no-good-terrible-rotten people. People who exploit others, people who use power to harm others, people who just don’t care, people who hurt others and God’s earth, people who claim to be Christian or Muslim or whatever religion but really use it to try and find a false claim for their hate (this last group of people, in my opinion, are the worst group of heretics one could imagine).
Now you might be thinking, “Now, Shelley, don’t you not want to love them? Don’t you not want to be in conversation with them? Don’t you want to blacklist them?”
But I do want to see the love of God spread. And I do want to help change hearts and minds. I want to live into my faith on a daily basis. I want to be a better Christian. And wanting to be a better Christian means I’ve got to love those people mentioned above. It means I have to be in conversation with them. It means, those people I’d just like to blacklist are going to be the first ones I have to encounter when trying to bring about the kin-don of God.
I don’t do anything I don’t want to do. But I’m working on doing all the things I should to do.