I was on a middle school summer trip to Chicago once, and had an interesting interaction with a Chicago native. One of our adult volunteers left his camera behind on a boat ride. The local Chicagoan happened to be on the boat, found the camera, and then came to find us. After catching up with our group, he started to talk with me about the camera. During our conversation his wife called. I was trying not to listen in, but this part came out very clear to me, “Honey, can I call you back? I’m doing a feel-good thing right now.” I’ve never stopped thinking about that statement, and about how often I do things for others because “it feels good” to do.
I wonder how many of us use the “feel good” mentality to encourage our kids to go on the next summer trip, the next missions trip, or the next whatever event we want them to attend. I know I’ve done that, and I wonder if that should be our motivator. Ephesians 6:7 says, “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men.” If our heart’s desire is to serve our Lord, I think it’s right on, but if we’re serving because it will make us “feel good,” I think we’re missing the point. I hope we don’t lose focus on the only real reason we should serve: to glorify God and live out his truth.