What do you like to do? Sports, skydiving, eat chocolate, parenting, business endeavors, hobbies? What is it for you? I love to exercise, hanging with my family, coffee with friends, helping people navigate their relationship with God. Those are all in my “like” category. But let me ask you this: What is in your “don’t like” category? Eating lima beans? Confrontation? Taking out the garage?
We’ve all got things we like to do and conversely we have things we just don’t like to do and avoid them. Allow me to connect the “like” and “don’t like” categories with an unrelated word. The word is obedience. The reason I’d like to connect everything together is simple. It is very easy to be obedient when asked to do something you really like doing…like eating chocolate. No problem there. Bring it on. I’ll be obedient all day long. However, when asked to take out the garbage, that’s a different story. It doesn’t come easily. It takes an attitude of intentionality that says, “OK, I’m choosing to do this.”
I think you’d agree with me that one of the best indicators of good character is the ability to choose to do what you don’t like to do for the sake of a greater good or for the sake of keeping your word. It really does remind me of the Scripture, Philippians 2:8 He humbled himself, by becoming obedient to the point of death even death on a cross! That’s Jesus. He chose to fulfill God’s redemptive plan for mankind by His sacrificial, substitutionary death on the cross. It wasn’t in his “like” column. But, because He loves you and me, He did it.
That’s a pretty clear model for all of us. When it’s hard or inconvenient to do something for someone else, it’s usually a wonderful gift that you’re bestowing on someone. More than that, it usually makes the greatest impact.