Sunday, March 24, 2013

Weekend Worship—Doing Good Things for the Wrong Reasons

Since we live by the Spirit, we must also follow the Spirit. Galatians 5:25

For years I did things for the wrong reasons. The things I did weren’t bad—quite the contrary—many were good, God-serving things. But I wasn’t doing them from a heart of abundance or grace, but because of guilt.

I either felt guilty because there was a need going unfilled, or I because I had the ability to do something that needed doing. I actually believed that because I saw a need it meant I was supposed to fix it.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

That kind of thinking sent me straight into major burnout. I don’t know about you, but around our neck of the woods there are lots of needs. I could be six people and still not come close to stemming the tide.

So how did I turn things around?

By learning to listen to God.

Only He can tell when my help is actually…well…helpful. Sometimes my propensity for jumping in without praying is actually hindering someone else from responding to the need. The only way to tell the difference is to listen to him.

So when was the last time you jumped in with both feet to help, when you really should have been cheering someone else from the bank?


  1. Just the title of this post is convicting! I used to be the same way--learning about a need and believing I was the one to fill it. And yes, my burdened plate led to burnout too.

    Amen, sister! Great post!

  2. I've been there, too. This is a great reminder. Thanks, Edie.


  3. Have been increasingly convinced that doing anything for the sake of the thing does not honor God. What we do, we do for God alone--by His command and to glorify Him. When other people are helped or other tasks accomplished, well, glory be.

  4. Seeing how I'm from your neck of the woods, I totally get it. For years, I jumped in when I sensed a need I felt was a good match for my gifts/talents. In recent years, however, I've learned - and received - the beauty of the bank-side cheering section.

    I shudder to think how many times in my attempt to "do good" I robbed someone else of the joy discovered in serving.

  5. Sometimes I wonder if we do things for the sake of doing them because inwardly we think we are scoring "brownie points" with God. Its another trap of the devil to get us "works" conscience. Great advice to let go and follow God so we are doing good deeds for His glory and now ours.

  6. I really enjoyed this post, Edie - even if I am behind and late in commenting. God recently moved my husband and me from our long-time home in Houston to a small town in west TX. I was so active in our home church, fingers in every pie. Now I'm here, going to a new church, and God is teaching me that I need to listen to Him before I jump in. One of those "blessing in disguise" from this move.