What’s Your Motive?

We all have motives. Some of our motives are good, some bad. Rarely are they pure. Even our good motives can tend to have bad mixed in. Joe wanted to be a good worker. He showed up on time, gave his all, and was the last to leave the office. When he got home late, he yelled at his wife for not having dinner ready. He spoke about the time he spent working to support her, and he accused her of not being grateful for his sacrifice.

Deep down, Joe wanted to be seen as dependable and reliable at work. Despite how he acted in this scenario, he also wants to be a good husband. Somewhere along the way, though, his motives got tainted. He started working for the approval of coworkers and his boss. This was a source of great anxiety in his life. He began to become a different person at work to fit in. His anxiety lashes out toward his wife when he comes home.

Our motives must be purified if we want to live out our gifting. God created us in a specific way and for a specific purpose. This purpose is not to make much out of ourselves, and I think if we are brutally honest, a part of us wants to be noticed. It wants to be made much of.

This problem was apparent in the church Paul wrote to in Corinth. Some are claiming to be able to speak in tongues. They couldn’t. They spoke a bunch of gibberish that didn’t make sense, because they thought speaking in tongues made them special. The gift doesn’t make us special, the Giver does.

In another area called Philippi, people were preaching out of selfish ambition. It blows my mind how this is even possible, but then I ask myself hard questions. Why do I write? Why do I lead? Can I say that none of me has selfish ambition? Can I say that I don’t want to be made much of?

Nope. There’s an ugly part of me that wants “likes”. It wants claps, pats on the back, to hear, “That was powerful, man.”

If we are going to be affective in using the things God has gifted us with, we have to let go of this. We cannot move forward hanging on to the desire to be made much of. If we do, it’s to our own turmoil. When the gift becomes more important than the Giver, it becomes a curse. We feel pressured to perform instead of living the way we were created.

So, let’s check ourselves. Are you wanting fame? Has your gift overtaken the One who gave it?


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