I HAVE TO. I WANT TO. I GET TO.
Three small phrases , but immensely different perspectives and attitudes. Attitude is defined as ” a manner of showing ones feelings or thoughts. One’s disposition or opinion. ” The three attitudes above can be the difference in whether we enjoy life or muddle our way through.
I HAVE TOO. I must admit I carried that attitude in my school years. As a timid young boy I would have much rather home schooled myself than go to that brick building. It is not that I didn’t like my classmates, I just didn’t want to be around them. It is not even that I didn’t like to learn, I just would rather learn on my own. But I have to go to school. My parents say so. The school system says so. And we can apply this to work. I have to work. If I want to provide for my family and myself I have to work. Whether I like it or not. Isn’t it amazing how much power numbers have when you put a dollar sign ( $ ) in front of them ? We have virtually become a cashless society. Our wallets and purses now contain plastic rather than paper. What we used to count in our hands, we now just see as numbers on a statement on a computer screen. Yet we still need the numbers with the dollar sign. We have to find ways of obtaining those numbers to live. Then we have to pay taxes on those numbers. We have to. If we don’t , there will be consequences. If I don’t think I have to pay taxes, then I will have to go to jail. Let me interject here that we must remember we are still blessed to live in this nation. If you aren’t sure about that, just take a flight to the Ukraine right now or a less blessed third world country and you will return with the attitude I want to pay my taxes. I know, it is difficult to believe that anyone would want to pay taxes, but even Jesus taught to give to Caesar what is due to him. And I believe the Lord will even bless us not only in obeying the laws of the land, but having the attitude that I want to obey the laws of the land. I suppose that might be a stretch for the theology of some, but I believe it is biblically accurate.
I WANT TO. I want to go to school. That has been and still is the attitude of my eldest son Austin who just turned 31 years of age. ( That cannot be true!) When he lived at home he wanted to go to school. He loved knowledge. He still loves school and knowledge today. He loves to learn. He wants to continue to gain knowledge of the necessary truths of life, including spiritual things. This want to attitude has led him into the position he is in today in life, the position where the Lord would have him to be. The want to attitude of my youngest son Aaron , to work with his hands and be creative ,has led him into what he is doing today. I have been blessed to watch both of my boys nurture their want to attitudes into being faithful to what they enjoy doing today. Has it always been easy? Of course not. But they have persevered through the uneasy times with a continued desire to please the Lord and enjoy life with a want to attitude. Also, whenever the I want to attitude is addressed , motive needs to be a key. For instance, someone may say “I want to go to work and make a lot of money so I can buy a bigger camper than what my neighbor has.” A want to attitude sounds great, but it isn’t great when the motives are selfish.
I GET TO. I called someone recently and when they answered the phone they said they were dusting their home. I jestingly said how great that must be and how they must really be enjoying themselves, but the conversation eventually turned to how thankful we were that we had a home to dust. We have had many recent natural disasters in our nation that have wiped out homes. Any one of those who lost their home would love to have a home to dust. So this brings us to the attitude that I get to dust my home. I don’t have to, I don’t want to, but I get to. I don’t just have to go to school or even want to go to school, but I get to go to school and get an education. I don’t just have to go to work or want to go to work, but I get to go to work and provide for me and my family. I don’t just have to pay my taxes or want to pay my taxes, but I get to pay my taxes because I am blessed to live in this nation. (Did I go too far?) If we can go beyond the have to and the want to and reach the get to it will cause us to be blessed and lead us to favor. I suppose at this point someone may think this is a positive thinking message. Yes, it is because the gospel of Jesus Christ is a positive thinking message. This has less to do with human wisdom and everything to do with the wisdom of the Spirit. Which brings us to these thoughts.
Are you a Christian because you have to be? Because you want to be? Or do you get to be a Christian? I am not talking of a Christian in the worldly sense and definition, but speaking of a follower of Christ without any shame or timidity. Do you feel like you have to be a Christian? Why? Do you really want to be? Why (or why not?) Or do you feel it is a privilege and honor to be a part of the Kingdom of God? Do you have to go to church? Do you want to? Or do you get to? What is the motivation behind your church attendance? If you do not go and you have no desire to go , where do you fit in with these three phrases? I will allow Holy Spirit to speak to you truth on that one. Will you?
Do I have to, want to or get to minister to the children? Do I have to, want to or get to watch the babies in the nursery? Do I have to, want to or get to minister in song through the choir? Is what I am doing a chore or an honor? Colossians 3:17,23 (Amp.) , Whatever you do , no matter what it is , in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus in dependence upon His person, giving praise to God the Father through Him. Whatever may be your task, work at it heartily as something done for the Lord and not for men.” School. Work. Taxes. Witnessing. Mowing grass. Shoveling snow. Plucking your eyebrows. Okay, you get the idea. It doesn’t say “whatever spiritual thing that you do”. It does say, “whatever you do , no matter what it is, do unto Christ.” This will first eliminate anything you are doing that you shouldn’t be. It will also bring you from the have to, through the want to, to the get to and bring the right motives into every task. A brother quoted this statement to me recently, ” It is not just about getting the job done, it is about getting the job done God’s way.”
Another perspective can be seen through the body, soul and spirit realm. We are made up of the body, which is our flesh and what we can see. Our soul , which is our mind , thoughts, will, emotions. And our spirit , which is the real us , the inner person, of whom we cannot see, but is our direct connection with God. Our body says, I have to. Our flesh is enmity with God and is repulsed by serving the Lord. So our body is always negatively responding that I have to do this or that and promotes dissatisfaction. The soul may say I want to , but our soul is our own will which brings in the selfish motives. Our spirit, when connected with Holy Spirit , says I get to serve the Lord with honor and reverential fear. The body says “go ahead and do your task’s , but you aren’t accomplishing anything. You are wasting your time. God doesn’t know what you are doing. He doesn’t appreciate you.” The soul says, “Go ahead and do your task’s, but make sure you get something out of it. You deserve something. If you want to do it, shouldn’t you receive some praise?!” The spirit , when connected to Holy Spirit, says, “Be thankful. You get to do all these task’s as unto the Lord. He has given you the abilities and you are a steward of His blessing upon you. Give Him the glory in all you do.”
Colossians 3:23,24 (AMP.),”Whatever may be your task, work at it heartily, as something done for the Lord and not for men. Knowing with all certainty that it is from the Lord and not from men that you will receive the inheritance which is your real reward. The One Whom you are actually serving is the Lord Christ.” This is a get to scripture and the get to attitude will produce rewards here while we are on earth and rewards after we reach our heavenly home. The have to, want to, get to attitudes we have will affect our inheritance. It is not that we earn anything. We don’t deserve anything. It is about the reward of His grace upon those who serve Him thankfully with their whole heart.
I am so glad the Father didn’t say, “Well I guess I have to provide a plan of salvation for these humans. I don’t really want to, but I feel obligated to provide a way they can fellowship with me again.” I am glad God didn’t just have a want to attitude and say,” I want to provide salvation for mankind, but I am only going to do it because I want a bunch of robotic servants to serve me and obey my every command. I don’t care if they love Me and I really don’t love them, I just want them to do everything I tell them to do.” I am so glad the Father did say,” I get to bring mankind back in fellowship with Me. I get to send My only Son to earth and become a man and die and to nail their sins to a cross.” Jesus said, “I get to sacrifice My life for them and be that spotless Lamb to bring them back to the original relationship with My Father.” Jesus didn’t have to do what He did. The Father didn’t force Him to die for us. Jesus didn’t just want to. But His attitude was “I get to.” Wow ! And again I say Wow ! So how does that affect your have to, want to, get to attitude?
Let us serve Him because we get to. Let us praise and worship Him because we get to. Let us do all our task’s heartily unto Him because we get to. Rest assured it may be a process, but if we make strides to have the mind of Christ in this area of our life, He will pour out favor upon us beyond what we can even think or imagine.
I serve Him with you because I get to ! We serve Him together because we get to !