The Fallacy of Doing Our Duty

A friend sent me this quote this morning from 365 Days a Year with Dwight Moody which was originally published in 1900. Today’s entry is a commentary on 2 Corinthians 5:14, … “The love of Christ compels us.”

I am getting sick and tired of hearing the word duty, duty. You hear so many talk about it being their duty to do this and do that. My experience is that such Christians have very little success. Is there not a much higher platform than that of mere duty? Can we not engage in the service of Christ because we love Him? When that is the compelling power it is so easy to work.

It is not hard for a mother to watch over a sick child. She does not look upon it as any hardship. You never hear Paul talking about what a hard time he had in his Master’s service. He was compelled by love to Christ, and by the love of Christ to him. He counted it a joy to labor, and even to suffer, for his blessed Master.

The language of institutions always gets back to responsibility, duty, obligation and commitment. It is satisfied if the work gets done, regardless of what motivates it. But the language of relational life is the language of love. When things just become a duty, we know that our participation in love has begun to cool. We fix that not by trying harder to do our duty, but by being renewed in love. It is as true of our relationship to him, as it is in our marriages, our relationship with others in the body and our compassion for the world. Never settle in this kingdom for any motivation less that the love of Christ flooding your heart.

If you find that cooling off, take the time to draw aside to him and set your focus on who he is and what he has accomplished on your behalf. Ask him to reveal the depth of his love for you and don’t just work harder at the things you know you should do. For that which we need most is to live every day in the reality of his love.

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