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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Doing What I Hate

I must confess. I hate cleaning the toilet! Give me a sink full of dirty dishes or a load of wood to chop, and I will gladly do either. In reality, the task of toilet cleaning is not difficult, I just don't like doing it.

What task do you dislike?

When I face a disagreeable task and dwell on how much I hate it, the doing of it seems way more difficult. Remember that homework assignment you sat in front of for a really long time? It didn't go away, and the more you thought about it, the worse it became? That's how it is for me and toilet cleaning.

If only I could do the things I love, everything would be so much better. But someone has to clean the toilet, right? Someone has to clear snow from the driveway--and at our house, that means with an old-fashioned shovel and a lot of muscle work. Someone has to clean up the yard after the dog--another yucky job. (I'm always thankful when my husband does this task.)

In every occupation, in every household, in every form of service, there's going to be those things we don't enjoy. Recently, my pastor has been preaching on service--in the church and in the community--and he's listed things people can do to serve God and others, including cleaning the bathrooms. Now, does anyone actually like cleaning bathrooms? Probably not too many of us, and certainly not me. But if someone asks, "Who likes a clean bathroom? I would shout out loud and clear, "ME!" There are certain businesses where I actually avoid using the bathrooms because...well, let's just say, I appreciate the clean ones. So, to all who willingly and voluntarily clean bathrooms in churches everywhere, "Thank you!" You truly have a servant's heart.

A couple of verses to consider...

  • And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Col. 3:17.
  • Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men. Col. 3:23
  • Be joyful always. I Thes. 5:16
Through these verses, I'm reminded that I can do everything in the name of the Lord, and it becomes service to Jesus, and hopefully, others too. I can serve my family through cleaning, doing the laundry, and cooking. On a job, I can work faithfully, and by doing so, I am serving Jesus and my employer. In church, I can clean a bathroom, pass out bulletins, or shovel snow with a great attitude and heart for service. In my everyday life, I can write, direct, smile, live, and everything I do can be as "working for the Lord, not for men."

Sometimes, even in the things I love to do, there are parts I dislike. I love writing, but editing can be an arduous taskmaster, and I'm the slave. I love gardening, but the constant upkeep is difficult. I like a neat house, but I don't enjoy housework. (Ironic, isn't it?) In the areas that I don't care for so much, I need better focus on doing these things with a good attitude and a heart of service. My heart must align itself to joy--just like the verses above suggest. 

It's so much easier to have a positive attitude when I'm doing a task I love, but doing something I dislike--as unto the Lord--with sincere joy in my heart is even better. It changes my day, my life, my world. A heart for serving and a grumpy attitude just don't mix. It's like oil and water. I have to chose one way or the other. For me, I chose to serve--even if it means cleaning the toilet--with a happy heart.

When I change my internal attitude, the job I hated so much doesn't seem quite so bad after all.

How do you tackle disagreeable tasks?


  1. I think I just tackle them---but not after some whining . . . lol. Getting better at it though.

  2. I think this is going to be a work in progress for me...forever.

    I'm the worst procrastinator I know.

    Last minute Lil, that's me.