When Your Heart's Not In It | UMC YoungPeople
Connecting young people and their adult leaders to God, the church, and the world
October 2014

When Your Heart's Not In It

By: Ti Chitsinde

Elijah went before the people and said, ‘How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God follow him.’ But the people said nothing. - 1 Kings 18:21

We often go through life doing things we don't really want to do for the sake of making other people happy or comfortable. Conforming to ideals we don't agree with, compromising on the things we do agree with, and being generally lukewarm. And the unfortunate thing is once you learn to be okay with that as a young person you will go through life always taking the route of indifference.

There is nothing quite as dangerous as being lukewarm. This is because lukewarm people do not belong anywhere, being neither for nor against, not being neutral because they are on either side when it is convenient to do so. Jesus himself warns of the pitfalls of being lukewarm when he says he shall spit the lukewarm out for not being hot or cold.

When we do things without our hearts being in it, it shows, even when we think we are doing a good job of masking it. Doing action without any love in them does no one any good. It doesn't do much for the person you are claiming to do it for and it definitely doesn't do you any good. You are just being a burden for everyone else and making yourself miserable.

It is so easy to get guilt-tripped into doing things that you just aren't down for, and it is those closest to you who are most adept at that. Even the Scripture is utilised with shameless abandon to make you feel bad for not doing what other people want. But remember, there is a price to pay for doing things which might make you resentful inside. God searches the heart and looks beyond the actual act, however kind it may be.

If it's the right thing to do then pray for God to address your spirit and infuse a genuine desire to participate and make a positive difference. If it is not the right thing to do then just say no and be at peace with that. It can be very hard to say no, especially in the face of emotional and religious blackmail but remember, the same God who emboldened Elijah to face Ahab after nearly of Yahweh's prophets had been slaughtered by Jezebel is in and with you.

As we go through our daily grind let us strive to be honest with ourselves, with God and with others. If your heart's not in it do not be afraid to say how you feel. Being wishy-washy demeans everything you claim to believe in.

Discussion Questions: Why is it often so hard to say "no" to things? How can we make sure our actions are motivated by love and not done out of ambivalence or obligation.

See more devotions from Ti and our other Young Adult writers, or find our how you can become a writer yourself at our By Young Adults for Young Adults devotion page.