Articles by Stan Dean

A “Want To” Heart

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There is a story that has circulated for years that I would like to bring to our attention once more. It involves a father and his young son who were together in a social setting.
The father was trying to engage in a conversation with some other adults, but it was difficult because the youngster was being disruptive by jumping and running around the room. So the dad said, “Son, sit down in that chair over by the wall.”

However, the boy did not heed his words and continued being unruly. Hence, the dad more sternly commanded, “Sit down in that chair by the wall!”
Still the boy continued as if nothing had been said. This caused the dad to lean down and look his son in the eyes and say, “You had better listen to me! If you don’t sit down right now, you will be punished!”

This caused the lad to sigh, cross his arms and slam his body into the appointed chair. After he sat there for a moment, he mumbled under his breath, “I may be sitting down on the outside, but I am still standing up on the inside!”

I have always liked this story because it tells us a lot about ourselves. Even as adults, we may know that “sitting down” is for our good, yet too often even when we sit down “we are still standing on the inside.”

This attitude also comes into play with spiritual matters. Everything that God commands of us is for our good (cf. Deuteronomy 6:24). Yet, have you ever considered that while God commands numerous things of His followers, He does not make us do any of them? Why? Because only obedience that comes from the heart is acceptable to Him (cf. Romans 6:17).
God is looking for a “want to” not a “have to” heart. Which kind do we have?

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