Wednesday’s Word: Willingness


Give me again the joy that comes from your salvation, and make me willing to obey you.” Psalm 51:12


Why should we obey God? The psalmist tells us the key to willingness is the joy that comes from salvation. Resignation and outward compliance to the law is very different from willingly surrendering our wills to God. When our minds and hearts are open to see what God has done for us, the lavishness of his unconditional love, and his own willingness to save us—often from our own foolish stubbornness, we experience the joy of salvation. We aren’t perfect. We can never be good enough on our own to earn our right to be justified. The glorious good news is that we don’t have to. We can acknowledge our shortcomings and the wrongs we’ve done—God knows all about them anyway. We can come to him exactly as we are and find he is waiting with open arms.


God loves us—not because we are perfect—he just loves us. And because he loves us, he wants what is best for us. We want what’s best for us too, but so often, we don’t know what that is. When we trust God’s wisdom and experience his unconditional love there’s no reason to cling to self-will. Years of struggling to have our own way haven’t brought us lasting contentment. Accepting God’s love brings joy in a way that no change in circumstances can touch. Why wouldn’t we obey someone who knows us better than we know ourselves, who is all-wise, all-loving, and who is longing to share with us the joy of salvation?


Prayer: Lord, grant me the willingness to follow your directions.


Reflection for sharing: When have you felt forgiveness and unconditional love? What was it like to experience the joy that comes from God’s salvation?

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All Bible quotes are from the Good News Translation unless otherwise noted.


It is reassuring that Jesus called fishermen and tax collectors to be his followers. These were laymen, not Scripture experts. It is wise to seek guidance from religious scholars and clergy who have studied Scripture to avoid errors in interpretation. But the Bible is also a gift given to each of us, to use as a basis for prayer and meditation.


I’m not a Biblical scholar; I’m an expert only on my own experience. Following the Scripture passage is a brief meditation along with a question or two as a springboard for your own reflections. Please feel free to share your own thoughts or insights on the passage by adding a comment. All comments are moderated, so please allow some time for your comment to be posted.

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