My wife, Martie, is a great cook. Sitting down after a busy day to enjoy her culinary delights is a real treat. Sometimes after dinner she runs errands, leaving me alone with the choice of grabbing the remote or cleaning up the kitchen. When I’m on my good behavior, I roll up my sleeves, load the dishwasher, and scrub the pots and pans—all for the joy of hearing Martie’s grateful response, which is usually something like, “Wow, Joe! You didn’t have to clean up the kitchen!” Which gives me a chance to say, “I wanted to show you how much I love you!”
When Jesus reproved the church at Ephesus for abandoning their “first love” (Rev. 2:4), it was because they were doing a lot of good things, but not out of love for Him. Although they were praised for their perseverance and patience, from Christ’s point of view, they were being “good” for nothing.
Good behavior should always be an act of worship. Resisting temptation, forgiving, serving, and loving each other are all opportunities to tangibly express our love for Jesus—not to get a star next to our name or a pat on the back.
When was the last time you did something “good” out of love for Jesus?