Duty and Love

Duty and Love

The Bible teaches that, one day, everything we have done will be laid bare.  All of our achievements, motivations and mistakes.  Our work will be tested to see if any of it is of lasting worth.  (Hebrews 4:13, 1 Corinthians 3:13).


Growing up, I always wanted to do something big and important with my life.  These days, I appreciate  more and more how important the small things are –  and, perhaps even more vital, my attitude while doing them.


As a mother, my days are full of lots of small things: the little people I look after and all the duties of caring for them.  Sweeping, wiping, brushing, combing, hugging, frying spreading, chopping, mediating, instructing, comforting – to name a few!


Each day is a combination of many small tasks and interruptions.  It is easy to get to bedtime and wonder what I’ve achieved.  If I’m honest, my duties often irritate me and I feel, at times, that I want to get on with something ‘more important’.


I love this quote from, ‘The Painted Veil’ by W. Somerset Maugham:


‘Remember that it is nothing to do your duty, that is demanded of you [it] is no more meritorious than to wash your hands when they are dirty; the only thing that counts is the love of duty; when love and duty are one, then grace is in you and you will enjoy a happiness which passes all understanding.’ 


It is a powerful reminder of the most important motivation of all.  Love.


As we perform, even the smallest of duties, let LOVE be our motivation.


Why mop up the spilt milk?  Because, if not, a child might slip on it.  It could go bad, smell and possibly make people sick.


Even something as simple as mopping up milk can be motivated by love for those we live with – a desire to give them the best home environment, one which they can thrive in.


Why wash clothes?  Or help with school work?  Or go out to work?  Or whatever your duty is today?  Focus on those around you – your family, friends, colleagues – and let all you do be motivated by love for them.


As we do, we can find peace and joy in our work – however big or small our tasks might be.


Everything Jesus did, when he lived among us, was motivated by love.  It was love that motivated Jesus to speak to little children, rebuke the Pharisees and, ultimately, go to the cross.


In the final analysis, if we have learnt to love, as Jesus loved, we will have accomplished something of worth.


“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13)



Sharing ideas

Showing hospitality is one of the most traditional and effective ways to convey love to others. Sadly it has been made very difficult in these challenging and isolating times – but not impossible.


I’d like to share a few ideas of how we can continue to show hospitality while in local lockdowns. Please add any ideas you think of in the comments below and hopefully it will help motivate us all to show a little more love.


– Host a garden picnic


– Drop a meal round to another household and eat together on zoom! (Or just deliver a meal to anyone you know will appreciate it – with or without the zoom call).


– Bake a big batch of cookies and drop them round to neighbours


– Write a letter to family members you’re not able to see


– Send a small parcel of treats to someone ‘just because’


– Read a children’s story via video call


– Host a ‘face mask’ zoom party – this has been tried and tested and was so much fun


– Organise a walk


Please add any ideas below…

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4 Replies to “Duty and Love”

  1. Visit an elderly friend for a “doorstep chat” with a bunch of flowers 😊 You might be the only smiling face they see all day!

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