As a small child, when I asked my mother what she wanted for Mother’s Day, she would reply, “Just be a good girl — that’s all I want.”
Well, that’s easy, I thought. After all, wasn’t I a good girl? (most of the time). But what she was saying entailed more than a careless, forced obedience. “To be a good girl” to her meant that I would “study” ways to fit that definition because I loved her and because she was my mother.
And as long as I endeavored to “delight” my mother, I was not guilty of any behavior to be ashamed of. It was only when I lost that incentive and the desire, that I would veer from being a “good” girl.
How did I know what a good girl consisted of? Because my parents’ teachings were stamped on my heart and mind with daily reminders to give heed to them. Not because there was a check list, but because I was part of the family who loved me and I wanted them to approve me because I loved them.
If God’s Word is part of us — if we love him — knowing He loves us, and our heart’s desire is to have His approval, it’s natural to want to please Him. If we search for ways to delight our Savior, we will always add the “and then some” to lift us up to a higher plane in our relationship with God. Actually, anyone can be coerced to follow rules whether they understand or even if they don’t care. But it’s hard. That’s not the way God wants us to live — in constant fear of failure.
We can go through life under a cloud of guilt like the little cartoon character continually getting rained on — the cloud over his head no matter where he goes. We can be so down on ourselves — so fearful — we forget we are saved to glorify our Lord. We can’t live to please man or to conform to another’s standards. What glory does He get from our negative thinking and reluctant obedience?
2 Timothy 1:7: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
“I will serve Him because I love Him,
He has given life to me.
I was nothing before He saved me,
He has given life to me.”
What a delight! And when we delight in Him, He delights in us.
(NOTE: Thanks to Shanna Weekes for reminding me of this perspective on 2 Timothy 2:16.)