If you have children old enough to at least start doing basic chores, you’ll know my feeling exactly.  I have four children from 10-17 (well she’ll be eighteen on Monday but she’s not there yet 🙂  ).  By they time they were three or four, we had them start doing even the most basic of chores.  When they are just learning how to do the chores, nobody could expect perfection in their actions.  However, there’s a significant difference between someone trying and failing and someone who just goes through the motions.

If I see my child give effort towards something, I’m more willing to coach and team them on improvement.  However if I see them just go through the motions, then there is discipline, usually loss of some sought after privilege.  At this moment, no amount of teaching or coaching can help.  If they are merely going through the motions, they have no desire to learn and grow.  But if they are putting effort and falling short, they are much more willing to receive the coaching necessary for them to improve.

It never ceases to amaze me how many times I can just look at my reactions towards my own kids (right or wrong) and better understand God’s response to us… His children.  Too many of His children are just going through the motions.  They go to church, sing the songs, maybe even attend a bible study or small group… but there’s no effort… they are just “being religious”.  But God wants more than just our mindless wandering through the motions of religion.

God desires that we serve Him, that we make an effort on His behalf.  When Malachi is repeating the words of God, he says, “They shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, in the day when I make up my treasured possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his son who serves him. Then once more you shall see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him.”  (Mal 3:17-18). While the entire nation was claiming to believe in God, only a few were actually finding ways to serve Him.

James points to service as the thing that is pure religion.  “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” (Jam 1:27)  By serving the most needy of His children, we are serving Him.  This effort to serve Him, His Kingdom, His people… this is what shows God that we desire His presence.

So to evaluate your own walk with Him, don’t look to how often you read the bible or attend church… ask yourself… ‘How am I serving Him?’  If you’re anything like me, you’ll probably admit that you could be doing better.  Continually seek ways to serve Him.


I pray that you appreciate my blogs.  They are my way of journaling as I read His word.  If you do like them, please be sure to click the Follow Hisfamily Ministries button left of this post AND to spread the word.  Share these posts with others and perhaps they will be blessed too.

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2 thoughts on “Going through the motions

  1. Something that I try to ask myself daily to help me focus on God. 1-Am I loving God? 2-Am I loving others? 3-Am I receiving God’s love? I have found that this helps me get beyond the motions and focus on living with intention to honor and give glory to God. (How am I serving God?)

    1. Tad, if more people lived by those three simple rules, the church would be stronger and there’d be way less issues in the world.
      It doesn’t get more simple or more powerful than that. Well said.

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