I walked back along the beach from some quiet time with the Lord, reading and praying and listening. I couldn’t shake a negative feeling that I had. I couldn’t put my finger on it but it felt heavy. As I walked back to Matt and the kids I was processing with him. I had just spent 40 minutes alone, with God, I should be feeling refreshed. I should be feeling joyful. I should be feeling thankful. So what was my problem?
And then it hit me; I was being should on. Being refreshed, joyful, thankful, etc are things that flow out of a life of freedom. But I wasn’t walking in that freedom. Instead I had a long list of things that I should have been doing and thinking and feeling as a result of my own and others expectations. For example:
-We were going on a trip to visit people and ministry partners. There are always other peoples ideas of those we should visit while there or things we should do.
– I should be busy all the time or it looks lazy and like I’m wasting time.
-I should be doing more with my church, my kids, my friends, etc.
-I should have my meal plan done and ready for the week by Sunday night (although this is helpful).
-I should do ministry, discipleship, etc. just like that other woman.
The list goes on and on. And although there are a list of things that need to be done each day, and there are things that I need to do to cultivate joy, I have to take heed to the shoulds. There are certainly things that I should be doing but what is motivating them?
If I am going to walk through my day in freedom and joy I have to do one thing; There is one thing that has to be true. I have to ask myself, “Am I doing this because God has asked me to?” Am I loving God and allowing myself to love and serve others out of that? I have to ask God everyday, “What do you want me to do today and will I rely on His strength to do them?” If I’m not doing that I’m going to be should on. It’s a given for me.
I just read another insightful post on this similar topic by Beth Moore. It was called What Would You Look Like? For more thoughts from an incredibly gifted woman and teacher I encourage you to go read it.
What about you? Do you walk in freedom or are you being should on?