I was washing dishes after dinner when my daughter said to me, “Hey, mom! Do you need any help?”

“Sure,” I said handing her a rag. “Wipe off the table.”

She gave me a crooked look. “I wanted to sweep the floor.”

“Well, honey, you sister is already sweeping. Please go do what I asked or go play.”

She chose to wipe off the table. Good choice.

My kids are really good kids and great helpers, but sometimes their help is not really help at all. They want to do the job their sibling is already doing. They want to eat the food instead of setting the table. They have in their minds what they should be doing, and that’s how they want to do it. Yes, they submit and do what is asked. But not always with a smile on their faces.

I could judge, but I am the exact same way. Especially when it comes to serving.

I want to do serve, but on my own terms.

I want to give, but only when it’s right for me.

I want to help the ladies with this project… but really, I only want to help because they are doing it.

I say I want to be a good Christian, but then I just go about my daily life with no fruit of my faith.

I say I want to help others know Christ, but then I avoid all conversations that could lead down that path.

I have a lot of me in these scenarios. Often times I do things for me instead of for God and for other. And often times, I am just paying lip service. I like the idea but not the reality. The biggest issue here is my heart posture. Why do I want to serve or want to say “I want to serve?”

Where is my heart- on man’s approval or God’s?

I am quickly learning that there is a big difference between a professing believer and a disciple of Christ. If you are a disciple, there is fruit. There is evidence of Christ in your life. If you are a believer, you have words. If you are a disciple, you have fruit. Your works and actions will be an overflow of your heart.

The message of Christianity is “Come as you are but don’t stay as you are.”  All are welcome and all are accepted. But you have to let the Holy Spirit lead your heart. You have to allow yourself to be changed from the inside out. Being a Christian means that we are letting Christ have the throne of our hearts and allowing the Holy Spirit to change us into the image of Christ.

“If one of you tells him, “Go in peace; stay warm and well fed,” but does not provide for his physical needs, what good is that? So too, faith by itself, if it is not complemented by action, is dead.” 

James 2:16-17

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