Thank you for visiting. We trust that you have enjoyed reading our articles.
What Motivates You?
“All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord” (Proverbs 16:2 NIV).
We typically won’t do anything unless we are motivated to do so. We take action based on a variety of motivations. Our motivations can be positive or negative. Some of the common negative motivators include pride, anger, revenge, entitlement, or the desire for approval or to impress others. These motivations are clearly negative and come from a sinful flesh and do not honor God (Romans 8:8).
Nothing is hidden from our Lord. He even evaluates the motivation of our hearts when we give offerings to Him (2 Corinthians 9:7). If we have selfish motives our prayers will be hindered. James
4:3 teaches us, “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” This is why it is so important for us to invite the Holy Spirit to search us and reveal our sins to us. I love the prayer of the Psalmist, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
The Bible has much to say about motives and many examples of people that took action based on sinful motives. In Genesis 4, Cain kills his brother Abel due to jealousy. Proverbs 16:2 reads, “All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the LORD.” The human heart can be deceitful, and we can rationalize to ourselves that are motives are pure. I suspect that Cain was convinced he was doing the right thing. We can fool ourselves and often those around us that we are pure of heart, generous, and kind, but God is “a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
So, what is a good motivation? The Apostle Paul demonstrated good motives to the Church in Thessalonica by writing, “We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts” (1 Thessalonians 2:4). On becoming king of Israel, Solomon prays to our Lord: “Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, able to discern between good and evil; for who can govern this your great people?” (1 Kings 3:9). Solomon was motivated by a sincere desire to discern good from evil rather than a desire to glorify himself. His prayer had power.
When we give the outward appearance of obeying God, but our hearts are hard we have not fooled God. The only way we can operate from pure motives is when we “walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16, 25). When we allow Him to control every part of us, then our desire is to please Him and not ourselves. As we yield more of our heart to God, then we can approach our prayers with confidence and thanksgiving because we are both seeking the same things.
Prayer: Dear God: Thank you for loving us. Please continue to draw us closer to you. Help us to desire what you desire. Amen.
Meet the Author
Todd Shupe is a Men’s Ministry Specialist through the General Commission of United Methodist Men and is in training to be a Certified Lay Minister through the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. He currently serves as the President of the Baton Rouge District of United Methodist Men and is a Board Member for Gulf South Men and serves on the Action Team for The Kingdom Group. He is a volunteer for the Walk to Emmaus, Grace Camp, and Iron Sharpens Iron. Todd resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
We welcome your comments below.
Liked this post?
Read more below or search for more topics...
The Unforgivable Sin? “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate” (Luke 15:22-24 NIV). Years ago a dear friend, let’s call him John, confided in me that he had made the “unforgivable sin.” I was expecting him to tell me about how he had committed blasphemy against the Holy...
Unanswered Prayers “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10 KJV). In 1990 Garth Brooks wrote a popular country song entitled, “Unanswered Prayers.” The song described a time when he ran into a high-school girlfriend while he was with his wife. In a recent interview Brooks admits that during the first two years of his marriage he still had strong feelings for this other woman and felt that she was the one that he should had married. However, as he ran into his old flame, he realized that this girl was not the “angel he remembered...
Trust God, Not Your Feelings “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death” (Proverbs 14:12 NIV).Have you ever heard the expression, “trust your gut.” This speaks to our natural desire to go with our feelings. If it feels right, it must be right. The problem is that often what feels right to us is not always right to God. The Bible teaches about a time when the world was in anarchy because of this attitude: “Every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25). Today, do we do what feels...