We need to do more than obey. Obey cheerfully.

Free will is given to us so we can choose to believe in, and then obey, God. Or, we can choose to disbelieve and disobey. We either concern ourselves with the Programmer or with the things He programmed.

The first beings to be programmed with free will were angels. Some of them made very bad choices, just as people have since Eden. Free will is, when looked at in light of all the beings who have been punished for misusing it, frightening.

Ten Commandments were provided to tell us what NOT to do. As bitter people are always discovering, it is possible to obey every single commandment and hate both God and neighbor. Obedience and love do not necessarily go together.

We’ve all dealt with people who say, “I’ll do that because I have to, and I’ll do it right, but I don’t want to do it, and I don’t want to stop letting people know that I don’t want to do it, because, frankly, I don’t want to do it. It is important for me to let people know that.”

God, frankly, got sick and tired of resentful obedience. He still is. Human beings, whether co-workers or supervisors, get tired of such people, too.

One thing, that we rarely are allowed to hear about, has to do with rich people who move into convents and monasteries. There, they do hard, manual work. There, they have to love God. And, their neighbor.

That, all by itself, is one sign of the reality of God’s Kingdom that no one can ignore. Mr. or Mrs. Gotrocks, who never had to lift a finger to do anything for anyone, suddenly scrubbing floors and liking it.

Cheerfulness, then, seems to be almost as important as obedience in the Kingdom of God.

It is impossible to love our neighbor without being cheerful. It’s just as impossible to be cheerful without loving our neighbor.