Not because you told me to

Mrs. Piggle Wiggle always knew what to do.

Parents would come to her, looking for a cure for their “thought-you-saiders” and “slow-eater-tiny-bite-takers.” At the end of each chapter the child was cured.

It was like a literary sitcom.

Recently I feel like I’ve contracted one of the ailments from the book, I am an Answer-Backer.

An other-wise sweet little girl comes home one day with an obstinate streak. When her parents tell her to do something, her reply is: “I’ll do it because I want to, but not because you tell me to.”

“I’ll do it because I want to…”

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go;

I will counsel you with My eye upon you.” (Ps 32:8)

Over the past couple of weeks God’s been talking to me about making a change in an area of my life…a place I had not fully submitted myself to Him and His will. Interestingly enough, there’s also been an increase in “chatter” about this topic in my little corner of the world.

Online. At church. With friends. In books I’m reading. I can’t seem to get away from it.

At first I took it as confirmation of what God was showing me in my personal times with Him. Then it got annoying. I was open to the change, but now I feel like I’m being forced into a change.

“…but not because you tell me to.”

What is it about being told to do something that raises the hackles on the neck?

Pride? Obstinacy? Fear?

I don’t know about you, but for me it’s even worse when it’s something I was already planning on doing.

I have a bad case of “I’ll do it because I want to, but not because you tell me to.” In fact, it’s almost become “I’m not going to do it, only because you told me I need to.”

“Do not be as the horse or as the mule which have no understanding,

Whose trappings include bit and bridle to hold them in check,

Otherwise they will not come near to you.” (Ps 32:9)

I know that what God’s calling me to will only lead to better things in my life. I know that He always has my best interest in mind. Even more, I have no objection to making this change…just to people thinking they’re the cause of it.

Ouch! That hurt to admit.

Basically it comes down to pride. However, if I allow that stubbornness to rule me, to block growth God has initiated, then I am really only hurting myself.

“Many are the sorrows of the wicked,
But he who trusts in the LORD, lovingkindness shall surround him.

Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous ones;

And shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart.” (Ps 32:10-11)

Ok…I’ll take a cue from Mrs. Piggle Wiggle and remember that it’s rude to answer back…even more so when you’re answering back to God.

I’ll swallow my pride and make this change in my life, even if other people feel like they’re the reason for it. I need to allow others to hold me accountable, whether I’ve asked for it or not. The result will only lead to me becoming a more effective tool for His purposes.

I will trust Him, be glad in Him, and rejoice that He’s bringing about growth in me.

holy experience

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8 thoughts on “Not because you told me to

  1. Great thoughts. You caught me with Mrs. Piggle Wiggle. It’s a favorite around here. I have been dealing with an answer-backer and a strong willed child who always wants to question me. It’s easy to overlook that as children of our Father we could use the same lesson, even as adults. Also loved your slow down post and saw several similarities in my life. I have 4 children and I knew #4 was my last – so important to savor those moments. It’s always exciting to look ahead and wonder what is next especially when you have young children. But I have been reminded by MANY elderly women to “enjoy them dear, they are so precious”. On a lighter note, I’m new at blogging also and it’s strangely like dating; wondering if you made a good first impression and if they will come back! So funny the little insecurities we have. I just recently noticed that I have 5 followers. I was shocked and giddy! Great to meet you.

    • Misty – glad you stopped by! I loved your comments and think it’s fun the similarities we have. Children, blogging, life are all such a journey and God’s really teaching me to take it moment by moment. Luckily right now the only answer-backer I have in my house is me. :) But my kids are all pretty young so we still have time. Haha!

  2. I understand this completely! We are both apparently weird (I mean that as a compliment). I was a shy kid growing up who had outgoing friends with strong personalities. I constantly felt overshadowed and struggled to prove myself as an individual. I would do things I didn’t want to just to prove I wasn’t just along for the ride or vice versa. I carried a lot of that over into adulthood, but then I realized like you that I’m only hurting myself.

    If someone thinks they were the cause of the change in my life, oh well. I know it was God and His grace. They may never know, but it doesn’t matter. What God wants to do is more important than my ‘rights’ or feelings or anything else and in trusting Him, I will see the best and most abundant fruit… That’s what makes it all worth it. Thanks Melissa.

    • Haha! “We are both apparently weird.”

      Love it! I liked your insight that even if others think they’re responsible for the change we can still know it’s God working in our life.

      I’m still slightly disturbed at how much it irks me that someone’s telling me what to do. Problems with authority much?

  3. Melissa, I cannot begin to count the times I’ve thought or even said outright, “If I thought I HAD to, I probably wouldn’t.” I totally live up to the stubborn Missouri mule label. But how I relish in frolicking beside God in the garden versus the times I buck agaist the reigns. I am thankful that He is persistent in capturing our attention and our desire. I think I need to plaster Psalm 32:9 to my head. Thank you for bringing it before me today! :)

  4. I loved Miss Piggle Wiggle when I was young. It was interesting to think that these books my mother read to me over and over again, actually have some merit in them for adults. very well written!

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