Do I Really Have To?

Gwen Smith Blog, Confession, Holiness, Humility, Life Clutter, Trials 20 Comments

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Sometimes doing the right thing is hard.

Case in point…

My husband asked if I could run to pick up his dry cleaning while he was on a conference call for work. Sure. So I drove across town, paid, grabbed what they gave me, and then headed home.

“Are my suit pants cleaned too?” Brad asked when I brought the dry cleaning in the house.

“I’m sure they are, honey. I remember seeing them in the bag when I dropped them off.”

I checked. No suit pants.

“There are only shirts here, Brad, but I do remember there being a dark pair of pants in there last week when you gave me the bag!”

“I definitely had pants in there,” he replied. “Can you please call the dry cleaners and find out where they are?”

Sure.

“Hello, mister dry cleaner man. When I dropped my husband’s clothes off last Wednesday there was a pair of suit pants in the bag. I just picked up his laundry a little bit ago and the pants are not with his order. Can you please check on those?”

“Mrs. Smith, our records show that we took in 18 shirts, but no pants. I’m sorry.” He said matter-of-factly.

“Sir,” I responded as my pulse began to rise, “My husband and I both remember there being a pair of his suit pants in the bag when I dropped it off on Wednesday. There must be a mistake and we need to figure this out. Are there any pants around your store that are unaccounted for? The missing suit pants are navy with a thin blue pinstripe.”

“Ma’am,” he began with an abrasive, defensive edge, “we don’t have pants just ‘lying around.’ We only took in 18 shirts. Beyond that, I don’t know what to tell you. People think they drop things off all the time, but we very rarely ever lose anything.”

Really?

I was more than agitated at this point. “Well, sir, what I know is this: my husband and I both remember his suit pants being in the bag that I dropped off to you last Wednesday. He can’t wear a suit without pants. This is pretty important. Can you please take my number and call us if and when you find them?”

“Yep. I have your number.” Then he finished with this smug gem, “I don’t expect them to show up, but will call you if they do.”

“Great. Thanks.” Click.

I was in a tizzy. Brad and I began to discuss the fact that we both knew his pants were in the bag… and then a thought came to my mind … which took me to the garage. And there, on the floor behind my drivers seat were his navy, pinstriped suit pants. Still dirty and blending in with the dark floor carpet of my car. Ugh! I walked back in the house and updated Brad.

“Do you think you should call and let the dry cleaner know that you found them?” He asked.

Inside I knew I should, but didn’t want to.

“No. I don’t want to. I don’t like him.” I replied childishly.

Almost instantly the Word of God convicted me. “If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.” (James 4:17)

Doggone it. I have to call him back.

I reluctantly dialed the number again.

“Hello! Dry cleaning company, how can I help you?”

“Hi. We talked a few minutes ago about my husband’s suit pants, and I am calling back to let you know that I found them in the back floor of my car. They must’ve fallen out of the bag. I’m sorry.”

His voice softened. “Well, thanks for calling back. Most people wouldn’t do that. I appreciate it. Have a good day.”

My brow was still furrowed when I hung up. No halo hovered above my head and my grumpy ‘tude still had a grip on me. Taking that step of obedience meant swallowing my pride and I didn’t like it. I didn’t want to do it. But I know it was required in response to my love for Christ.

Why is it sometimes hard for me to do the right thing?

Why is it hard to WANT to do the right thing sometimes?

I ponder the questions, yet know the answer: because on my own, I’m stubborn and self-seeking. Thankfully, by grace God’s Spirit works within to lead, correct, and guide.

Obedience is a constant battle: my will versus God’s will. It’s a battle that can only be won by surrendering. Jesus said that if we love Him, we will obey Him. (John 14:15, 21,23) Even when and if we don’t want to.

Where does this find you today? Is there anything that you know you should do, but haven’t done?

 

Dear Lord, Thank you for loving me even when I’m less than lovable. Please lead me in Your ways, refine my stubborn heart, and help me do the good You call me to do. In Jesus’ name, amen.

 

FOR YOUR REFLECTION and RESPONSE

Read John 14. This is a conversation Jesus had with His disciples on the night He was betrayed. Jesus made many bold statements here. Which verses stood out to you today? What is your personal takeaway or challenge? Post your response or a prayer of response on my blog wall where we encourage and pray for each other.

 

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Warmest Blessings in the Grace of Jesus,

GWEN

Comments 20

  1. Thank you for this today. The Holy Spirit is nudging me to call this person that i dont really want to call……and I am just procrastinating till i read your devotion today.
    So making the call.
    The verse that spoke to me – Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

  2. Thank you Gwen this was nice and powerful to Read. John 27 “peace I leave with you my peace I give you” Thank you Lord for giving to me that peace that comes from a true Living God! Life is so full of stress and uncertainty this verse asures me that nomatter how busy n stress life can be we have the peace of Jesus in us to make everything better. It is a gift He gave us.

  3. Thank you for i have been feeling some type way moving on in my life striving to go forward inside of my heart letting me know there are things that need be said in a loving peaceful and respected way to all. I have fallen short in my journey to succeed in what God knows i must do By that sometimes my slothfulness gets in the way of achieving the best i know Gods has for me. I know he said he would never leave me nor forsaken me and i truly believe that. My problem I’m facing is this test that i have been taken for awhile to become a better person in listening and the job I’m testing for to be licensed i have failed several times. And I’m at a point when i need instructions on how to see the end results.

  4. “24 “Anyone who does not love Me will not obey My teaching. These words you hear are not My own; they belong to the Father who sent Me.” John 14:24

    This nugget of Truth (Jesus=Truth) reminds me that “anyone” who wants to follow Jesus and claim their love for Him-must obey Him! We show our love for God by obeying His commands! Without God, [just merely our little selves], this is impossible but we know full well that with God all things are possible (Matt 19:26)! Hallelujah

    “1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God ; believe also in Me. Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:1‭, ‬27
    Amen.

    It is a command straight from Jesus’ mouth to not let our hearts be troubled and to not be afraid! Often, we tend to think this is a suggestion but Jesus always calls us to higher living through divine power. Also, Jesus calls us in John 14 to peace that is past our understanding and not at all of the world! May we look for true peace.

  5. Today is December 1st… the beginning of the Christmas season. This can bring much joy, but also turmoil and stress. All of our hidden emotional fears can rear their ugly heads like: finances, family members, loneliness or our marriages. It comforted me today to read John 14- the verse that stood out is- MY PEACE I LEAVE WITH YOU…. we don’t have to go through this holiday frazzled- we have the peace of Christ.

  6. Thank you for this post. I found it so timely because I just went through something like this earlier this week. However, I was the one that went in calm to the business who had made the mistake. And if I had not contacted them, I would have had a great lose in a business deal.

    As I am talking to the manager, she continued to apologize for the mistake and was very surprise in my calm demeanor. After the transaction had cleared, I called and left a message for the manager to say thank you for taking care of it so quickly. Again, she was surprised I had called to confirm everything and to thank her for taking the time to handle it. She made mention again about my reaction to the situation. Her responded with, “Not everyone would have handle this mistake the way you did. Thank you.”

    God’s grace sent me in calmly and took care of it. It is his humble spirit within that keeps me as I am. I will continue to live for Christ. And pray I will walk the way he wants me to walk.

  7. Every time I read this chapter, it makes me so emotional. I end up with tears in my eyes. I want to say, “don’t go!” or “don’t leave us!” But then I see where Jesus calls us to have some faith. Verses 25 through 27 stand out for me. The Holy Spirit (not seen with the naked eye) and peace (again, something we can’t ‘see’) are comforts and hope He promises us in this world we live in, and feel sometimes like we have to ‘endure’. Thank you for reminding us of this!

  8. John 14:1 and 27 tell me not to let my heart be troubled. Hallelujah for the reminder!!! I woke up yesterday morning with the sudden realization that the next day(today!) would be December 1st. And my mind started into panic mode. I have been dreading the coming holiday season,because ours is the ” over the river and thru the woods to Grandmothers house we go” place. With 7 children,their spouses and significant others, grandchildren and our siblings, and sometimes a niece or nephew too, you can imagine the preparation it takes and the time it consumes……..I’ve been dreading Christmas! And my heart is troubled because I LOVE JESUS! I want to do what is right by HIM!! Last year I ended up in tears on His birthday because I was overwhelmed with too much on my agenda, no sleep, and too many expectations that I put on myself. Reading this devotion and the scripture has helped me confess my troubles to an all knowing Father, and ask for guidance from the Comforter that has been promised to us. THANKYOU Gwen. This was a timely reminder for the first day of a very special month! My hope is restored!

  9. John 14 is a favorite of mine, but I have been in a constant state of crisis that “let not your heart be troubled” had escaped me. I needed this reminder and a sweet refreshing in the Holy Spirit today. Thank you. Jesus has already revealed what is to be. Ours is to wait patiently and believe. I praise Him for His Faithfulness to us.

  10. As I read your devotional I noticed off to the side the words “Be the salt and the Light of the earth.” Last night I had dinner with my son and his girlfriend who is having my grandson this morning by c-section. She came to our family a little over a year ago and brought with her a beautiful little girl who is 2. Her mother was there as she is watching the 2 year old for the few days of hospital stay. She worked s hard yesterday getting ready for today and has been a huge blessing as she works to create a home and life for herself, her children and my son.

    I rarely use salt in my food and there has been many comments from my children that I am a good cook but lack spice. I have had dinner that she made and noticed that she salts a bit and her food is very good. So I brought this up. This morning I thought of it again as I read that it is important to be the “salt of the earth”. I will do a little study on this. But for right now I think it means that I need to be the “Light” which means to let Jesus shine through me, pausing, and listening to His guidance and trusting Him before speaking or acting. The “salt” is to be that good addition to each experience and interaction.

    I left the house with a troubled heart as I want all to be well and perfect for them. But there are so many unknowns for them. I remember being worried when I was their age and babies were coming. Would there be enough money? How am I going to do this? But the babies came and are grown now. I am so proud of them and grateful to God for helping me even though I often tried to do everything by myself.

    Two things stood out:

    #1: There are things to do that I continually do not do out of fear because I am not sure what the outcome will be. It is my responsibility to act on them and follow through because I trust Jesus and He puts things on our heart out of love and to teach us trust. I also notice that when I do not do them that there is often an unpleasant consequence as a direct result. Better yet, when I do do them, there is often an immediate Joy or a delayed Joy. I can always find the Joy, though, if I look for it.

    #2: My heart was troubled last night. My heart is joyful now after reading and praying. I trust You Jesus. Please help me to shine You today. Thank You so much for sending these two beautiful children to our family. Help me take Your presence in my life seriously and to own the authority and Power that You bring with You. Help me to love and show compassion but also to show Your Presence in my words and actions. Thank You also for my son and this wonderful strong woman. Help her to feel only love from me. Help me also to be an example of You. Lord, please calm her heart and Spirit. Help her to feel You. Help her to know You and help me not to do anything but shine You.

    Give my son strength and grace. He knows Lord. Help Him to know You more and feel Your love and guidance. Help Him to be a father based in You. Lord, release him from fear and protect this family from all darkness. Immerse us in Your grace and Love.

    I trust You Jesus…

    #2:

  11. The statement that stood out for me this morning is ” You know the way to where I am going”. How convicted I became because I do know the way and realize that I all to often choose my way. Which makes me sad because I so want to be a true follower of Jesus.
    I pray for Holy Spirit help to live my faith daily, in the name of Jesus!

    Thank you Gwen for your ministry.

  12. I really enjoy reading your posts. Unfortunately sometimes I don’t read them every day and find I am missing something that day. Today’s scripture really speaks to me and your devotion. My husband has ALS and last night was really rough. I often don’t do the right thing at 2 am when I am so tired. He needs suctioned, turned over or maybe just a blanket over him. My attitude at 2 am is not always the best. I have prayed and prayed for patience in the night and strength only God can give to me. My husband loves the Lord but can’t speak anymore so I don’t know what he is thinking. This scripture is very comforting knowing there is a better place for him even though our hearts are hurting knowing there is no cure and watching him deteriorate. Trusting God is the only way we get through each day.

  13. I read John 14 and I have notice LET NOT YOUR HEART BE TROUBLED start the chapter and you see it again near to the end. This is a clear sign that when we let our hearts be troubled about issues and situations we can loose focus on what God says in His word. It is yes so comforting knowing that even with our past Jesus still chooses us to fulfill His purposes here on earth and yes so thankful that nothing can separate me from Him /from His love,with all that I am going through right now I stand assured that God got this ,so I will not let my Heart be troubled, I choose to believe God and will not let go of my confidence in Him which is my reward ,be bless and thank you for the word this morning and I will be meditating on this scripture for today.

  14. This blog and coinciding scripture helped me to refocus this morning. My hubby and I have recently been going through some marital difficulties, and my emotions have often run amuck (along with my behavior!) This devotional and John 14 reminded me to focus on loving Jesus through my behavior, ie obedience to His Word…and NOT to focus on my feelings as much.
    I found your e-devo a few days ago, while staying at my mother’s for Thanksgiving. I was looking online for something to break up the monotony of my daily morning time with the Lord. Love love love how this devotional, and others like it on Crosswalk, are interactive (asking the Lord to show and lead us deeper.)
    God bless!

  15. The hope of heaven and many mansions things on earth aren’t always right and sometimes I have to do things I don’t want to but there is heaven. This was helpful sometimes I wonder IF I can obey God BC something’s He asks are really really difficult but your simply example helped whether the issue is big or little it’s the same pride we have and humility we need.
    .

  16. I love that in John 14 he tells us that God is preparing a place for us with Him. That is so very comforting! I can’t wait until Jesus comes to get those who love him in His second coming! Thank you for your devotion, it always gets me in a better place than I was when I sat down to read it. God bless you!

  17. Everyday I read your post, I get inspired, I see those areas in my life that God wants me to adjust & i find myself adjusting. All i can say is, i bless the day I stumble on & subscribe to this blog. Thank you and may God almighty who has called you to do his work continue to enrich you with his words in Jesus name. I wish I could write too, I wish I could follow in your footsteps

  18. Great devotion! Eating humble pie not always what I order for dessert lol but it is the best dessert when I do Oder it because it reflects Gods glory and grace!
    John 14 is very chockfull. I like how v1 starts out, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and also in me. The only way I can not have a troubled heart is trusting in God and Jesus. I know when my heart is troubled that I am doing things in my strength and not His. Does that mean that I will not have troubles! Nope it sure doesn’t, but my peace can not come from my circumstance. My peace has to come from Him. My favorite verse that I have been resting on this last month starts in v2: “There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? v3: When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so you will always be with me where I am.” WOW!!! So let me get this straight YOU the God of the heavens and the earth are going to prepare a place for ME!!! And you’re coming to get me when it’s ready!!! WOW right! Me? You’re coming to get me? Yes me!!! I belong to Him, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! I am royalty! And sister if you are His you are royalty also!!! Yes even though you may have: lied, cheat, stolen, and maybe even had an abortion! Yup these are ALL forgivable … yes everyone single one! When we repent of our sins, confess with our tongue that Jesus is Lord we are at that moment we are HIS!!! He doesn’t say, ” Well … wait let me look at the things you’ve done and ponder a bit. Nope He sure doesn’t. Better yet from BEFORE time began (that’s right sisters) He chose you! Knowing all that you would do, yes ALL and He still chose you!!! He loves us that much!!! Then He’s going to prepare a place for us and come get us when it’s ready!!! This really just blows my mind! Will you ponder this with me today? And be in His awe with me? Let’s lock arms together today sisters! Are you in?

  19. I am proud of myself for the choice I made to subscribe to your blog and excited to go step by step with you as imperfect as I am and live a purposeful life for Jesus. Today he ask me, “if you love me ,you will keep my commandments” john 14:15.
    I seek to know Jesus and his commandments more…and I pray and ask in his name for the grace to do the good I out to do always..amen

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