SPRINGFIELD, MO. — My wife and I promised our 6-year-old daughter a cat if she behaved and got along with her sisters. After one week of model behavior, she pounced onto my lap and made a grand announcement: “I’ve been a good girl all week — now I get my cat.”
“Who said you had to be good only for a week?” I asked.
Instantly her smile gave way to disappointment.
“Then, how long do I have to be good?” she inquired.
“Just keep obeying your mother and one day when you come home from school you’ll find a cat waiting for you.”
“But how long?” she pressed.
“Honey,” I said, “I don’t want you to be good just so you can get a cat. I want you to obey because you love your mom and dad and you want to be good.”
In an apologetic tone, she asked, “Then, can I ask God to get me a cat?”
Later I had to laugh because sometimes I find myself approaching God with the same attitude of entitlement as my daughter: “Lord,” I say, “I’ve obeyed You … so give me what I want.”
Subconsciously we approach God as if He’s an employer doling out bonuses for exceptional performance. But He doesn’t want us to serve Him simply to gain rewards.
He wants us to serve and obey because we love Him and we’re grateful that He sent His Son to die for us so we might have eternal life.
Just as Lauren will one day receive her cat, we can rest assured that God will meet our needs in the right way and at the right time.
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