May 23, 2018
“But I Don’t Feel Like Doing It”
Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 1 Corinthians 9:25
By the time we reach maturity, at whatever chronological age that is, that sentence “But I don’t feel like doing it” should have become irrelevant for us. Sure, we may vent at times with such a complaint, but it should not determine our actions.
Obviously, we should not ever feel like doing anything that violates the rules of civility and morality. When we do feel like doing them we pray for grace not to. However, there are many things we ought to do, whether or not we feel like it. Three mornings a week at 5:00, neither my body nor brain feels like going to the gym to work out. But, when I do, I always feel glad later that I did. What is it you don’t feel like doing?
Taking time to pray, meditating on the Bible, or visiting someone in need are things we can easily put off doing because we “don’t feel like it.” Worship at the appointed time with fellow believers is another big one. The unholy trinity of the devil, the world, and our sinful flesh, have a million and one other things to suggest that we do instead. Yet, we know that not only are we blessed by doing the good we don’t feel like doing, so also is our neighbor blessed.
How do we learn to put aside the “don’t feel like it” excuse? First, we remember who and whose we are in Christ. Neither we, nor our time belongs to us. God has redeemed us with the blood of Christ to be His people and He desires our fellowship. Through time with Him, we gain strength, guidance, and perspective. Secondly, recognize that as a community of faith we owe each other the never-paid-off debt of love. Thus, we take time to pray for each other, study the Scriptures and encourage one another in fellowship. Christianity is not about us satisfying our needs, but about us serving others. Thirdly, see such spiritual disciplines as God’s way of equipping us to be His witnesses. We can only effectively share what we intimately know, and that comes from regular attention to the things of God
Practically speaking, the best way to avoid the “don’t feel like it” alibi is simply to make our disciplines a habit, which will relieve us of the stress of having to make a decision. Nike, the name that means victory, uses the slogan, “just do it” for a reason. So in those things that serve God, your neighbor, and your own soul, just do it, whether you feel like it or not.