When I walked into the gift shop, I was greeted with a cheery “Good afternoon!” The young salesperson chattered brightly as she pointed out the shop’s unique products, shared my observations about the weather, helped me choose a gift, and neatly wrapped my purchase.

“You must really enjoy what you’re doing,” I said. “Actually, I hate it,” she replied. “I’m only doing this because I have to. I can’t wait till 6 o’clock comes so I can join my friends on the beach!”

As I walked away, I reflected on this young woman’s behavior. She had given me the impression that she enjoyed her work. In reality, however, she was merely putting in time.

I began to ask myself if I live like that. Do I greet people with a bright smile and pretend that I am serving God enthusiastically, even though there is no joy in my heart? Some of us are masters at wearing a mask of joy when we are actually serving the Lord grudgingly out of a sense of duty.

The Bible tells us to do everything “heartily, as to the Lord” (Col. 3:23), and to serve Him “with gladness” (Ps. 100:2). If there is no joy in our lives, let’s ask Him to search our hearts, to forgive our sin, and to restore our joy (51:12).