Sometimes when you were young I would have to threaten and beg for you to do even the smallest of things. In those cases, even after you had completed the task, it never felt very satisfying to me because your attitude was wrong. The list of chores may have been done, but the feeling of accomplishment was lost in the bad display of attitude.
Though we may be disappointed with children who, though they do what they are asked display the wrong frame of mind, we shouldn’t be too quick to judge. Often this is our exact mindset when it comes to our heavenly Father. We read in the Bible what He expects us to do and we go through the motions, checking items off the list without really understanding what God is truly looking for.
The Psalmist, King David, after sinning deeply, finally got to the understanding that God did not desire his sacrifices and offerings if they were done with the wrong spirit. The actions were worth nothing without the right attitude. What God was truly looking for was repentance that was shown by a broken spirit and a contrite heart. When the king was ready to accept responsibility for his sin and came to God pleading for forgiveness instead of blaming others, God looked on him with mercy. His attitude trumped his action.
I can’t help but think that God desires from His children the same things I desire from my children – a life of obedience with a good attitude to match. Do you want to make God happy? Then strive to do His will with a willing and cheerful spirit. Don’t try to please Him without it . . . because attitude trumps action.