There was the commonly used "I forgot to go to the toilet" or starting up a conversation just before bedtime in the hope that it would keep my parents interested enough not to notice how late it had become.
1 Peter 5:1-14
Reference: v.2a Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers – not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be. (NIV Bible)
Explore: I hated going to bed when I was a child. The tactics I used to try out on my parents to delay my bedtime were, no doubt, consistently frustrating. There was the commonly used "I forgot to go to the toilet" or starting up a conversation just before bedtime in the hope that it would keep my parents interested enough not to notice how late it had become. I can remember one night sitting in our large lounge chairs and noticing that it was my bedtime. But my mother was busy in the kitchen and so I just sat there as still and as quiet as I could so she wouldn't notice me and tell me to go to bed. I got a good 10 minutes extra staying up that night!
Now, on the otherhand, I go to bed willingly. I actually anticipate my bedtime with delight. I no longer use delay strategies but actually congratulate myself when I get to bed earlier than expected. I'll put off doing an additional task or even tape a show on TV instead of staying up later to watch it. Once my bedtime finally comes now, I'll quickly go to the bathroom and brush my teeth in an attempt to get into bed even faster.
If you compare my bedtime as a child and then as an adult you will notice the end result is the same – I go to bed. However the attitude towards bedtime is quite different. As a child I cause great annoyance to my parents and bedtime becomes a chore every night. Yet as an adult, even though it is the exact same activity, it is a pleasant task because I am willing to go. Our attitude towards something can have a big impact on us as well as the people around us.
Application: In our Bible passage today Peter is telling the leaders of the church to care for others because they are willing rather than just because it's a part of their job description. Even though we have things in our lives that we have to do, it makes a big difference when we do them willingly rather than just because we have to. Often the result is the same, however the affect we can have on ourselves and on other people can change greatly. It all comes down to our attitude.
Prayer: Lord, there are some tasks in our day that seem more like a chore than a delight. Help us to serve You and others with the right attitude. Amen.
Do you have a negative attitude towards someone or a task that you need to complete?
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This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.