“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.”
Has anyone ever called you a “hard worker”? Probably you work the hardest at the things you like the most. It can be fun to work for something we love. Not so fun to work for a goal we don’t care about.
Take my kids, for example. I want them to learn to play the piano. They know how much I enjoy the skill, so they decided they would take up the task as well.
At first the prospect of fingers dancing across the keyboard excited them. But once they realized how much work was involved to get to that point, their enthusiasm waned. Suddenly, piano was “my thing,” not “their thing.”
That’s where most people stop–right where the hard work starts. But I knew the hard work would pay off. My kids’ love affair with the piano could be rekindled once they got over the initial learning hump.
But to get them from discouragement to enthusiasm I had to inject some encouragement.
My strategy consisted of a pep talk, a little tough love, and a quote hung above the piano: “FIND THE JOY.”
I just couldn’t let them quit without first encouraging them on toward achieving their goal.
Obeying God can be likened to learning to play the piano. It’s hard work because it requires us to exercise self-control and discipline. Training our hearts, minds, mouths, and bodies to want what God wants and to do what God asks us to do can seem like very hard work at first.
But with a little encouragement, we can help others get over the learning hump until obeying God becomes joyful–because obeying God does bring joy…and peace, and a whole host of other good things. If we give it a chance, obeying God will soon become an activity we like most.
Just like I encouraged my children to find the joy in piano practice, God wants us to help each other find the joy in obeying His rules. I knew the piano was for my children’s good; so too God knows that His rules are there for our good.
- Do you find obeying God to be difficult? If so, how? If not, do you obey all the time?
- Can you recall a time that someone has encouraged you to love someone you didn’t want to love? Or do a good work (obey God) even when you didn’t feel like it? Did it help?
- Brainstorm three ways you can motivate others to love and good works as set forth in the Bible.
Dear God, I am inspired to motivate others to obey you. Give me opportunities and the right words of encouragement to do so. Help me to want what you want. Help me swallow my pride to do what you ask me to do, even if I don’t feel like it. I ask that you bring faithful people into my life to encourage me as well. In Jesus’ name, Amen.