It’s official, we’ve hit August! How are you all doing? Anyone disappointed that we’re more than half-way through the summer? Personally, I’m glad July is over. First of all, I’ve never really liked it very much. Second, the new month means a couple of celebrations and the end of work! Oh, and before I forget (not likely) my family has finally moved in! Yesterday, the movers came and our stuff got put into our new home. We did some unpacking, but there are many more boxes to be opened.
There’s going to be some work ahead, and hopefully everything will go smoothly. Also, on the subject of work, we all like it when people pull their weight, right? I think we all like it even more when people go above and beyond what they need to do. But most importantly, love is key.
NOTE: Due to our move, and the start of my college classes soon, I will be taking a two-week hiatus. I should return on the 28th.
Good Acts: Love not included
I think we’ve all been guilty of this before. We do something selfless, or maybe we go beyond what someone has asked us to do, but we’re grumbling under our breaths. Maybe we’re solely complaining on the inside, yet both count. Putting others first or doing more than is required of you can be difficult, but having love while you’re doing it can be even more challenging.
I’d be lying if I told you that I’ve never had a problem with this. I’ve had times where I know something is the right thing to do, but inside I’m resentful and grumbling about whatever it is. Sure, I know it’s the right thing to do and I do it, and as long as I don’t complain I’m “good”. As long as I keep my thoughts to myself, it doesn’t really “count”. What really matters, is that I did “what Jesus would do”, love not included.
Good acts without sincere love/heart are dead. Grudging selflessness isn’t very commendable, and serving others while complaining isn’t impactful. Selflessness and good works shouldn’t be done for their own sake. Certainly they are admirable and things that Jesus would do, but an insincere heart is problematic. A willing and loving heart should be the root of our good actions. The sincere love is what gives our actions meaning and impact.
In the New Testament, the Pharisees are great examples of good acts without heart. Many of them conducted themselves by the Law and by all human standards, acted in righteous ways. However, their hearts were void of real love and a true desire to serve the Lord. Jesus was not light when he called them out on their shallow actions. He had a harsh reproach for their ways. They may have acted in good conduct, but Jesus easily saw what was truly in their hearts.
Sincere desires to serve others and put ourselves last, are what give life to those actions. God loves it when believers are sincere in love and have hearts that are willing to serve. The heart matters to Him, and it should matter to us.
Serving, putting others first, and having love, is a struggle. More times than I’d like, I’ve wrestled with it. Unfortunately, I think that we can neglect the heart and focus on doing the “good” too much. It’s something we need to fight against and remember that the heart matters. Whatever we do, should be done in love and all sincerity. (1 John 4:8, Romans 12:9). Without heart/love, our actions don’t matter (1 Corinthians 13:2).
We need to not only act godly on the outside, but to be so internally as well. We should not ignore the heart and solely polish the outside. (Matthew 23:26).
What about you? Do you agree/disagree? Have you struggled with this before? Have you done “good” things, yet lacked sincerity/love for those you served? Do you think that good acts are meaningful when resentment or complaining is present? How do you think grumbling harms the impact of selflessness or service? As always, I’d love to hear from you!