This morning I got home from a doctor’s appointment exhausted. I’ve been faithfully hitting my word count goal each M-F to meet my next writing deadline. I’m even a little ahead of schedule. Since my body feels beaten up, it occurred to me to take the day off.
Anxiety immediately began twisting behind my ribs. I was afraid that if I missed a writing day, I’ll totally forget how to write.
Writing daily is a good plan for someone who feels called to write. But I realized I needed to look at the “Why” behind that choice. I want to write out of obedience, the joy of creating, the hope that something I write will bless another…not out of fear of losing skill or fear of being left behind if I don’t produce enough.
Jesus challenges us to go deeper – to look for reasons and motivations and not just our outer actions. For example, praying is a good thing. Yet He showed us that the Pharisee who used prayer as a way to boast and make himself look good was praying for the wrong motives. Or those who tithed their dill but didn’t care for their parents. Or disciples who pledged to follow, yet argued about who was the greatest.
We can do good things for the wrong reasons.
I’m learning to pause and think about my choices — when to be gentle with myself and when to push — and why I make those choices. Today I’m going to ask for the faith to trust that a day off will be healthy for me.
How about you? Are you pushing and striving out of a need to prove your worth (Psst! Here’s a secret: you are already worth SO MUCH to Jesus that He died for you.) Or are you stepping back from a challenge, feeling like you can’t make a difference anyway? (Jesus can make a huge difference through our small fish and loaves when we offer them.)
Whether we need to rest or need to advance, let’s ask Jesus to help us obey out of joy and trust.
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