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Q:  A group in our church is discussing The 10 Second Rule. A few people in our group believe that you need to have a good attitude about obedience or it doesn’t please God. “The Lord loves a cheerful giver.” What do you think?  Peter

A:   Jesus actually told a parable to a group of religious leaders that addresses that question in Matthew 21:28-31a, “What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’ ‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went. Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go. Which of the two did what his father wanted?” The religious leaders answered correctly when they said “the first”.

I do believe God loves a cheerful giver or servant, and would love for us to have a good attitude about obedience; however, this passage teaches obedience, even with a bad attitude, trumps disobedience.

I believe the reason that is true is that even reluctant obedience tells God you trust him and his commands, more than you trust or want your own heart, or will.

I asked my son to do something years ago that I know he didn’t want to do, but he did it anyway. I felt honored. If he had done it because he was afraid of getting punished, I wouldn’t have felt that way. But, I think he did it because he knew I needed it done, more than he didn’t want to do it. It showed that he wanted to please me, more than himself.

I have no doubt God prefers both a good attitude and obedience, but I don’t think he expects perfection. Just do it!


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