I’ve been reading recently about the Pharisees’ habit of keeping a law so strictly that they missed the spirit of that law. They accused Jesus of breaking the Sabbath by healing and doing the work of His Father. They were so caught up in the restrictions they had conjured around the laws God had given them, that they completely lost sight of the fact that the sole purpose of the laws God gives us is to help us to become like Him!
As missionaries, we have lots, and lots, and lots of rules. Once you get used to them, they really aren’t that bad, but there are definitely a lot of little guidelines to remember. Early on in my mission, I learned that obedience is absolutely crucial to success. How can I ask Heavenly Father for anything if I’m not doing what He asked of me? And without His help and guidance every step of the way, time here is wasted.
So, I got really, really good at being obedient. However, I also got really, really impatient if other sisters weren’t being obedient. I know nobody is perfect, including myself, and I know that everyone struggles with different things. Nonetheless, I have a tendency to get SO irritable if I feel like we could be doing better. Talk about counter productive.
My ever-wise companion pointed out that sometimes we get so caught up in living by the missionary handbook, that we forget to live by the scriptures.
Then, as I was reading about the Pharisees, I realized that I’ve been acting just like them! What good will it do me to be on time to a meeting or have my shoes polished, if I’m creating an atmosphere of contention and resentment? How effective will it be to invite others to Come Unto Christ, if I’m not even treating those closest to me the way Christ would?When we remember why we follow the commandments, not only do they get easier, more enjoyable, and more fulfilling, but they’re able to serve their purpose, which is bringing us closer to Him.