I Don’t Want To Serve Time

Have you ever read something and had to do double take?

Last week, I saw a tweet that at first glance I thought began with the words…

Serving Time

Yet, when I reread the tweet I realized that the words actually said…

Service Time

The tweet was reminding every one of the upcoming Easter Sunday service time at a particular church.

I smiled and then chuckled.

The trick my eyes and my mind initially played on me led to this thought.

You know, that’s not too far off. So many people view church on Sunday as an obligation. They see it as something they have to do. They are “serving time.”

You see this behavior more often on Easter and on Christmas than any other Sunday morning.  You see people going to church because it’s the “right” thing to do or the “good” thing to do.  People put on their nice Sunday clothes and go out and do the church thing.  They go and serve their time.

But, the twice a year churchgoers are not the only ones who journey along…stuck in this rut of doing because it’s the right thing to do.  You also see it among regular attendees…those within the Body who over commit themselves.  They say yes to so many different serving opportunities within the church that eventually they become so burned out that their hearts are no longer on board.  And, although they might have begun the journey of serving with pure intentions and a fully devoted heart, they end up just going through the motions.  They are serving time.

God never intended for us to view church as serving time. 

Prisoners are obligated to serve time. 

Yesterday, we celebrated the Day that Jesus had victory over each of our prisons.

He came, He died, and He rose for one purpose… to set the prisoners free.

Before Jesus, we were serving time.  Before Jesus, we were serving a life sentence.

Serving and/or going to church should never be seen as an obligation.  It should never be seen as something we have to do.  If it becomes this…then we’ve just voluntarily stepped back into the jail cell and locked the door behind us.  And, that’s not a resurrected life.  That’s a life still shackled to the heavy weights of trying to earn our way to heaven.

God desires hearts that love and serve Him not from a sense of duty but from hearts overflowing with gratitude.

Jesus is the giver of Life. We owe Him a debt that we could never ever repay.

Thankful hearts don’t serve a prison sentence.   Thankful hearts serve a Savior.

 

 

 

 

10 thoughts on “I Don’t Want To Serve Time

  1. Jenifer

    LOVE this, Eileen! Serving time sounds like a punishment but church should be something we love and look forward to. A time to reconnect with our church family and be encouraged. Great post!

    Reply
    1. Eileen Post author

      True, I think when it feels like an obligation we are doing something wrong or with the wrong motives.

      Reply
      1. Barb

        I think you hit the nail on the head here, Eileen. I’ve been sensing this in my own life but it helps to have someone confirm it. With writing, especially, it seems like I have to go back to God and His Word again and again to have my motives cleansed. Not only for my own sanity and peace of mind, but also to keep my relationship with God vibrant and me in my proper place!

        Reply
  2. Caroline

    Wow. Fantastic post, Eileen. I love this: “God never intended for us to view church as serving time.

    Prisoners are obligated to serve time.

    Yesterday, we celebrated the Day that Jesus had victory over each of our prisons.

    He came, He died, and He rose for one purpose… to set the prisoners free.”

    You’re right that it can be intentional if we “step back into the jail cell and lock the door behind us.” Remembering grace!

    Reply
  3. Heidi

    Eileen, love this post! “Thankful hearts don’t serve a prison sentence. Thankful hearts serve a Savior.” Amen… beautifully said my friend!

    Reply
  4. Pingback: 2013: Pray For Inconvenience? | The Scenic Route

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