“Researchers have identified the core factors in a happy life. The primary components are number of friends, closeness of friends, closeness of family and relationships with co-workers and neighbors. Together these features explain about 70% of personal happiness.”

Murray and Peacock, 1996

It is a challenge to maintain our motivation in life – to seek God, build new friendships, pursue an endeavor, or stick with commitments we’ve made. We have to learn what the Bible teaches about staying motivated because it’s the only way to build the real friendships which are a big part of our joy in life. Love is the one motivation that never gives up or fails (1 Cor 13:4-8).  If we continue loving what we are doing, we will stay motivated – with God and relationships, even when things get hard. Love allows us to push through and not quit!

“Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.”

Matthew 24:12

The Bible teaches that undealt with wickedness will kill our love and motivation. Sins that cause us to lose motivation can be identified by the thoughts that come with them. Identify the section of thoughts below that you relate to most – #1, #2, or #3?

1.  Identifying  Envy, Anger & Jealousy(Scripture reference: Ecclesiastes 4:4, Proverbs 27:4)

  • “I have to be better to be loved.”
  • “I’m critical of everyone else’s weaknesses but not honest about my own.”
  • “I have to get all the attention or I get jealous and angry.” (siblings)

2.  Identifying Bitterness & Selfishness(Scripture reference: James 3:14-15)

  • “I have to love myself because no one else will.”
  • “I will prove to everyone who hurts me or doubts me that they were wrong.”
  • “I can remember all the ways others have let me down and use it as a reason not to care.”

3.  Identifying Denial & Deceit(Scripture Reference: I John 1:8-10)

  • “I have to be perfect to be loved.”
  • “The good I do excuses and justifies my sin.”
  • “If I don’t acknowledge pain, fear, or guilt then it didn’t happen.”
  • “I can’t tell anyone what I did or I’ll get in trouble.”

Questions:

  1. Which set of sentences above do you relate with most?
  2. Did you already think the sins connected with those sentences were an issue/challenge for you?
  3. What one new thing did you learn about yourself from identifying which section you related to most?

Oh, dear Corinthian friends! We have spoken honestly with you, and our hearts are open to you. There is no lack of love on our part, but you have withheld your love from us. I am asking you to respond as if you were my own children. Open your hearts to us!

2 Corinthians 6:11-13

Once we are aware of the of the wickedness that kills our motivation, the next step is to connect with friends and share with them what we are learning. When we talk to our friends about what kills our motivation, they are able to help point us back to God and the bible to recapture the motivation to love those around us and to keep pursuing whatever endeavor we might be going after. Paul had these types of relationships with those around him. There wasn’t any are of his life that he wasn’t ready to share with other people. This kept his mind and heart free from the clutter of guilt and shame that can steal our motivation.

Do you have these types of relationships with your friends?

Did you ever think that shutting people off to different areas of your life is withholding love from them?

Living life without the love is a boring life. Whether you are learning to build a deeper relationship with God or pursuing your dreams, love is the thing that will keep you going. Make a decision to be aware of the sins that steal your motivation and get help from your friends today.

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