When I was a kid, my parents often gave me jobs to do around the house. Yardwork was mainly the area of my responsibilities as I had sisters that took care of the chores inside the house.
When I was specifically told what to do, I did it, for better or worse, out of a sense of duty. I usually did a good job, and was normally happy with myself and my parents were generally satisfied with the job that I did. But it was just that…a job. It was a task that was required of me and I did it.
Every great once in a while, I would take upon myself a job that was not required of me. One that my parents had not asked me to do. Something that just needed to be done. It seems that I can almost remember exactly what these things were (as opposed to the regular mundane chores) that I did, more or less spontaneously. One time I reworked the brick walkway that led to our frontdoor and sanded and repainted the porch outside the front of the house.
No one had asked me to do it. It wasn’t even mentioned in passing that it needed to be done. But I did it. And I went about this work, which was far more difficult than my normal duties, with great joy.
My parents were thrilled when they saw it. I was given lots of thanks and praise for what I had done.
There is definitely a distinction between the two types of work that I had engaged in as a youngster. One was because I had to do it, and the other was because I wanted to do it.
Do you think my motivation in the second example showed a sense of selflessness, and was therefore the better work?
Are there any parallels to be drawn when we look at ourselves today in the light of our obedience to what God requires of us?
Filed under: Motivation