Thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did. ~Genesis 6:22
Total obedience is to obey right away, all the way, and in a cheerful way. Read each situation below and answer yes or no. (Answers are provided at the bottom of the page.)
1. Mom asks you to take out the trash. You’re in the middle of your favorite TV show. You wait until it’s over and then do it. Did you completely obey?
2. Your teacher gives you a page of math problems. You do them all except one that you can’t figure out. When asked if you’re finished, you answer, “yes” because you really want to go out and play and you did do most of them. Did you obey?
3. Mom comes home from the store and asks for help carrying the groceries. You’re in the middle of an exciting book – it’s at the best part! But you cheerfully put it down, jump up, and run out to help. Did you obey?
4. Your dad wants you to do some yard work on Saturday and says he needs your help. You had wanted to sleep in and then invite a friend over, but you tell him, “Sure, Dad, I’ll be glad to help.” Did you obey?
5. An adult at your church tells you to pick up some candy wrappers out of the pews and then leaves the auditorium. Your friends are waiting for you outside, so you grab a few, throw them away, then head out. Did you obey?
6. Mom asks you to clean your room. You say, “Okay”, but when she leaves the room, you start slamming toys in the toy box and kicking the laundry down to the hamper in anger. Did you obey?
7. Your grandmother just got out of the hospital and needs some housecleaning chores done. She’d like your help. You tell her you’d be happy to do it and start gathering cleaning supplies to take to her house. You even think about what else she might need help with besides chores and plan to do those things also. Did you obey?
8. You get into trouble and are told to sit in a chair until you’re told to get up. You sit down with arms crossed and a sour look. You say, “I’m sitting down, but on the inside I’m standing up.” Did you obey?
9. Your dad tells the family that he’ll take everyone out for ice cream as soon as their rooms are clean. Everyone else is done quick, but your room is a mess and will take much longer to clean so you shove everything under your bed. Your dad comes in to inspect, sees a clean floor and room and says, “Good job! Let’s go!” You smile and skip out to the car. Did you obey?
10. You’re at the library. A librarian walks up to you and asks you to please pick up the paper on the floor by your foot and throw it away. It’s not your trash, but you smile and do it anyway. Did you obey?
Some of these situations are tough and some of the answers are tough as well, but we need to remember what total obedience is. In our family, we say: “Obey right away, all the way, and in a cheerful way.” Sometimes we only do part of this formula and think that is good enough, but it isn’t. If we have trouble obeying our parents, teachers, or other adults and people in authority over us, then we will have trouble obeying God. Let’s all practice (like Noah) obeying ALL the way, cheerfully and diligently.
(Scroll down for answers.)
1. No, not if she wanted it done immediately. What if Noah had built the ark like God said, but waited a year to get started? Would that have been obeying ALL that God commanded?
2. No, you must answer truthfully.
4. Yes, if you mean what you say.
5. No, not if you didn’t finish the task completely.
6. No. Yes, you cleaned your room, but it is not total obedience when done with a bad attitude. True obedience comes from the heart and is done willingly and cheerfully.
8. No. You are sitting as you were told, but your attitude is not one of obedience.