When is the last time you did something reluctantly or under compulsion? If you’re like me, it’s typically when you feel like you need a break but there’s something essential that needs to be done, right? And if you’re like me, you do a little grumbling to yourself and maybe a bit of procrastination, and then you do it because experience tells us you can’t just not do it and expect things to operate smoothly. And you know that being reluctant about it—dragging your feet and being grumpy—is not helpful to the process or even satisfying. Even worse, as Winnie the Pooh was fond of saying, “it’s catching!”
The great news is that there’s another way!
As we study Joshua in The Story, I am struck by how God tells him to pray for God’s leading and to be strong and courageous—which he does before he undertakes battle after battle for seven years. Joshua first gets his heart in line with God’s, then he proceeds. What a winning plan!
It is the same with our life in the church. Hope has more than 110 events and activities happening every week in our church buildings, and it takes faithful planning and stewardship of our time, talents and offerings to make it all happen. If we were carrying this out reluctantly or under compulsion, we would be exhausted. The key ingredient that makes these activities into powerful ministry opportunities is that leaders and participants must first get their hearts in line with God’s plan. The power and energy comes from allowing God to shape and lead our decisions and our attitudes. The rest is just details.
So how is God shaping your decisions and attitudes about how you use your time and your talents and your treasure here at Hope?
2 Corinthians, 9:7 —“Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
Kristin Pitchford, Hope member and elder