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Faith's Firm Foundation: The Attitude Behind My Actions

Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Attitude Behind My Actions

I went down the stairs loudly, not really on purpose, but if my children heard me, well, good.  I put in the load of wash which I'd asked them to put in the washer and started the machine. Emptying the overfull lint-filter, I thought, "Don't they know better by now?"  Huffing up the stairs, I saw out of the corner of my eye the vacuum cleaner which I'd asked to be put away, still sitting in the hallway.  I marched down the hall, grabbed it and turned, a little too quickly, banging it into the woodwork as I turned.  I felt a sharp prick in my conscience.  If one of my children had done that, I would have told them to be more careful.  Pulling and pushing the heavy and unwieldy object down the hall and around the corner, the Lord began talking to me.  An image appeared in my mind.  Jesus was bending down, washing the disciples' feet.  In my mind's eye, the story played out, as though in a film. Jesus was kneeling in front of one of His disciples.  I noticed that He wasn't moving quickly, or in an exaggerated manner. My heart convicted me.  This little 30-second act of service I was doing for my children was hardly a sacrifice.  It was nothing.  Wasn't I willing to do that service?  I put the vacuum away and closed the door.  Going to the kitchen sink, I rewound the tape of my earlier words.  "Drill sergeant" came to mind.  I'd expected instantaneous response, when I don't respond that way myself.  Jesus washing the disciples' feet. I saw it suddenly in a whole new light.  

You and I know the story well.  Jesus was heading to the cross very shortly.  He must have been feeling a lot of pressure.  Under spiritual attack, no doubt.  He had the weight of the world on His shoulders, definitely. The disciples were acting foolishly.  Proud.  Yes, they should have known better.  They were being immature, selfish, perhaps lazy.  Jesus would have been perfectly within His rights to be completely irritated with them, and to have ordered one of them to get down and start washing (or, at the very least, to join Him in washing feet).  He would have been more than within His rights to give them a good sermon on what He was about to go through for them, and couldn't they show just a little consideration?!  Jesus washed the disciples' feet (a dirty job and one that they should have seen and done themselves). You can almost hear the chorus of "NMJ:  Not My Job" from the disciples.

Jesus did it for them, as mothers often do work that they have asked their children to do, or that their children should have seen and done themselves.  Mothers do much work for their children.  The action of Jesus doing a dirty job isn't what was the point.  Jesus' attitude was.  He didn't do it with resentment, or in a huff.  He showed them the act AND the attitude which He wanted them to emulate. He did it in love.

And He said to go and do likewise.

John 13:13-17--

"Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.
If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet.
For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.
If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them."

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Blogger Child of God said...

Guilty as charged! :(
It has taken a long time for me to become domesticated so this is an area where I fail miserably. I so dislike picking up and cleaning up after my family. I am aiming to be joyous in this sacrificial act but I am not there yet. I am really working on not grumbling but joy just hasn't sunk in yet.

Great reminder that Jesus was probably feeling tons of pressure the night He was washing the disciples feet yet He was so loving and kind. I have a looooong way to go.


May 1, 2011 at 9:04 AM  
Blogger Wantasew said...

Wendy, I really needed to read this today. Thank you.

~*Julie Christine

May 30, 2011 at 5:18 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Julie Christine and Child of God,
I need Christ to change me in this area so much. Constant recommitting myself to Him and asking forgiveness (of Him and my family) is the only way.
I need this reminder more than you, and that's why God spoke to me about it, I know.
May the Lord soften my heart and love my family through me (only His Spirit and power can do it).

Blessings to you as you serve in your homes,

May 30, 2011 at 5:50 PM  

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