If I’m a cross-cultural worker who is supposed to be like Jesus and love and serve others sacrificially, then why do I feel so grouchy and unmotivated to do anything?
These thoughts crossed my mind as I made a list of what I needed to do to get ready for our house church meeting last Sunday:
- Mop the kitchen and living room.
- Clean the bathroom.
- Make a pasta salad and a dessert.
- Get out the dishes.
On a hot summer day, just thinking about all this activity made me break out in a sweat. My energy was sapped, and my thoughts went from bad to worse. Who wanted to have a house church meeting anyway? Um, are workers like me supposed to even ask questions like this?
I needed an attitude change, and it was too hot to start working, so I sat down and prayed, “God, I don’t know how I can make it through this afternoon. Please help!” I opened my Bible, and Romans 12:1, 2 jumped off the page at me:
I read it a few times and sat quietly. In a few minutes my perspective changed, and I remembered two things:
1. My Life is Not About Me Being Comfortable
If I’m a living sacrifice, I don’t get to choose to serve just when it’s convenient and I feel like it. Of course I need to care for myself, but feeling hot or tired is not the end of the world. My life is about serving God and others when He leads, no matter what the circumstances. That’s what being a living sacrifice means. Serving others is worship is action.
2. I Need to Have My Mind Constantly Renewed by God’s Word
My days start off well. I wake up feeling positive, and spending 30 minutes with God gives me the encouragement I need for the day. But later things go wrong: a friend cancels our lunch date, or my husband calls to say he’ll be late. Left to my own devices I complain, criticize and fret about getting my own way. My attitude spirals into the gutter, and I need a mental makeover.
Sitting down for five minutes to pray last Sunday helped me see God’s perspective, allowed the Holy Spirit to renew my thoughts, and reminded me that I could choose what to think about. Meditating on Romans 12:1,2 changed my attitude as I cleaned my house and prepared food. Instead of complaining, I prayed that my work would bless my guests.
Do you ever have days when you need a mental make over? How do you handle it?