‘Serve the Lord with gladness.’ Psalm 100:2 NKJV
To grow in your relationship with God, you must move from the ‘should’ to the ‘want to’ category. The most basic assessment we have for any experience or event is what morality educator Jonathan Haidt calls our ‘like-o-meter’. Your like-o-meter was running the day you were born. For example, taste receptors in babies are pretty well developed, so their like-o-meter usually involves what goes into their mouths: ‘I like it—gotta have more,’ or ‘I hate it—get it out of here.’
As you continue to grow, everything in life registers on your like-o-meter without your even having to think about it. Every sound you hear, every conversation you’re part of, every bite you eat, rates positively or negatively on your scale. And people also register on your like-o-meter. During the briefest conversations you’ll find yourself drawn towards certain people. Something within you says, ‘I like this person. I’m enjoying this conversation.’ It’s always going on.
So here’s a question to consider: do you like God? That may sound like a strange question but, if you don’t like spending time with Him, you won’t do it. And you need to be honest about it, because you can’t pull the wool over God’s eyes. In Scripture the Christian life is compared to a 42 km marathon. By the time you’ve endured through to 35 km, it doesn’t matter whether you think you should finish, you’ll only do it because you want to.
In other words, your ‘want-to’ keeps you going when your ‘should’ finds it easier to quit. The psalmist said, ‘Serve the Lord with gladness’ because nothing else will enable you to go the distance.
SoulFood: Ruth 1:3–18, John 6:41–69
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023