One thing I am realizing is that I don’t think enough about my motives. I was recently asked a couple of poignant questions: 1) How often do I make decisions without considering my motives and 2) Why am I not more in touch with where other people are at with their motives?
People may be pure in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their motives.
Proverbs 16:2 (NLT)
But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.”
Jeremiah 17:10 (NLT)
These Scriptures make it pretty clear that motives matter to God. He is always searching us to find out what our motives are. It seems like we should be doing the same! As I pondered the above questions, I realized that I really don’t take much time to consider my motives — that’s not even how I think. I tend to focus my energy on what needs to get done, what problems need to be solved, and what do we need to do to solve them. I approach things more like an engineer than a spiritual man, and that is at the root of many of my challenges in life – especially in relationships. I am seeing that the weakness in my relationships comes from me thinking too much about the “what” and too little about the “why” (faith, hope and love).
This approach can make me religious, disconnected, or heartless. I can do a lot of things that I am supposed to do, but not take much time to think about what is motivating me. Is it love, concern, and compassion? Am I coming from a viewpoint of respect, partnership, and humility? Or am I driven by fear, guilt and desire for man’s approval? I am trying to have the right behavior, but I will not experience spiritual success until I actually get the right heart.
Ask yourself the same two questions that I listed in the first paragraph. What will you do to become more aware of your motives? What will you do make sure your motives are righteous ones? Start asking yourself every day, “What is motivating me to do this?” It will make a big difference because, well, your motives matter.