Motives, the why we do what we do. The world sees a mighty wonder, a person sacrificing all to aid another; we think that person is amazing, yet we never shall know why it was done. Oh, yes, words are exchanged, ideas passed, assumptions made, but no one really, truly, knows why the person did such an incredible thing. The good that is done is irrelevant, if done with ill motives.
My cousin once wrote a thesis about people and concluded all people were selfish and only did things for selfish reasons. In general I’d agree, yet, I believe, no, I know, there are a few, not many, but a few, that truly give of themselves without a motive of person gain. Of course, the name at the top of the list would be Jesus Christ, whom died that mankind may live, but beyond Christ, I am convinced there are others. Those that are Christians would most likely disagree. Then again, the Scripture speaks of such: a friend who gives up his own life to save his friend. Of course, there is the love of family, one member sacrificing for another. Of course these acts are few in a persons life, yet was the goal of Christ while on earth: He came to do, not what He willed, but the will of His heavenly Father.
I’ve been told some admire my Christian life because I’ve given and sacrificed my will to do that of God’s, but I cannot rightfully receive that praise. Oh, yes, there have been times when I’ve done the right thing and with the right motive, but I know the countless times I’ve done the right thing and either had wrong motives or with a begrudging attitude. I recall many years ago when I learned of the many ways we as Christians can live today in a Godly way, I wanted to do so, but my motive was not because I love our Lord; rather I wanted to be a “successful” Christian! In many ways I’ve achieved such, not because of my superior talent or wisdom, merely because of God’s overpowering grace. Then in other ways I’ve fallen so short that I’d be ashamed to be called a Christian. Oh, the outside looks good enough, but the inside, the part God shines His light upon, is nothing but dead man’s bones. I can relate with Paul, the more he desired to know God and more he realized how much he deserved not to be a child of the King, yet, God, for some unknown reason, choose him and likewise has chosen me; that is something I truly wish I could understand!
My motive in writing is twofold: one, I hope to dispel any notion that I am anyone special; I’m merely a struggling child, learning my Father’s will and trying with all my might to not get in the way of the Lord working in and through me, as I’m so accustom to doing. Thinking I know better or I can do better than Christ who lives within me; if that’s not insane, I don’t know what is! And second, to hopefully encourage others to seek to know why they are doing what they’re doing for the Lord and instead of doing for Him what they are doing, I hope they will start to let Him do it through them!
One way to beware of such is to beware of one’s motives. The next time your thinking of doing this or that for the Lord, ask yourself, what is my true motive? Follow what the Lord reveal to you as pure in motive and disregard that which you know is of ill motive. Even if the thing considered is good, of what true goodness is it when done out of selfish or wrong motives? Remember, what the world sees is our good deeds, but what God sees is either a sweat smelling wholesome sacrifice or the stench of dead bones.