Monday, February 09, 2009

Oh, she asks the tough questions! Her post is titled Are My Motives Pleasing to You, God? if that's any clue.
We all have motives for the things that we do. Our motives include sincere hearts, sinful hearts and everything in between in the things that we do. Laurie asks:

Do you go to church to fulfill an obligation?

Do you get involved to get a reaction from
someone; possibly pity, recognition or even money?

Do you volunteer in your child’s classroom to
analyze the new teacher or is it to help?

Do you share prayer requests for a chance to
gossip or because you truly care and are praying?
Our reasons for doing the things mentioned above can seem pure and innocent to us; however, when we really examine our hearts or ask God to examine them, what do we find?

Truly, our ways may seem innocent. We may not even give them a second thought as we do the things we do. Our words and deeds may even be second nature and our motives remain constant in doing them. Serving at church means doing it this week so I won't be called next. Singing in the choir means I simply like to sing so I put the robe on, go to practice and do it. Volunteering may be simply volunteering and nothing more that I realize. My talk may be simply talking with others.

I have, this morning, had my motives tested on serving others and have been found lacking but improving in the honor and love department. I find that I used to do things for my earthly father not out of love or honor but out of obligation. Is obligation not love or honor? Does this mean I don't love my Dad? No! I love him bunches. But obligation was my first reason for doing things for him, not love. Love, then honor (that "honor thy parents" commandment) should be first on my list. It is improving. But I'm not there 100% yet. God will get me there, I know. (Oh, how I long to be perfect.)

Some people don't make it easy to love or serve them, yet love should be our ultimate goal. That and glorifying God.

I am not always easy to love or serve either, yet God has done both for me. Who am I not to do the same for others?

"You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself."" ~ Galatians 5:13-14 (NIV)

Our motives should always be pure before God in the things that we do. We need to be honest with ourselves and with God and strive to have pure motives before Him in all that we do. It's not a hard thing to do. We can confess our wrong motives to Him and ask Him for help in changing. I don't think all motives that aren't borne out of love are sinful. Obligation and honor are certainly good reasons to do things. But our motives should have their foundation in love and wisdom from the Lord.
"For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding." ~ Psalm 2:6 (NIV)

Father, examine my heart and motives before You. Each action that I do and word that I speak should be done or said ultimately in love. I confess to You times that I have served and spoken with wrong motives and the times that I have gone on fishing expeditions in gossip or curiosity. I ask that You would cleanse my heart and forgive me for the times I have failed You. Renew a love in me that bubbles over into being my motive for serving and speaking to and about others. Let Your light shine through me as I take each incredible opportunity You give me to minister to others to be done in a way that glorifies You. Make all my motives pure, Lord, and refine my heart to be pure again. Help me lead a life of example as a Titus 2 woman, teaching what is good and learning from others the things that I should be doing. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

M - Make a decision to do everything in the name of God. "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." ~ Colossians 3:17 (NIV)

O - Obey God's commandment in serving others in love. "You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature ; rather, serve one another in love." ~ Galatians 5:13 (NIV)

T - Talk to God about your motives. He will help you in each situation. "So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened." ~ Luke 11:9-10 (NIV)

I - Invite God to purify your heart and renew a steadfast spirit in you. "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." ~ Psalm 51:10 (NIV)

V - Verify that what you do is what God wants you to do. "All a man's ways seem right to him, but the LORD weighs the heart." ~ Proverbs 21:2 (NIV)

E - Exemplify the Lord in all that you do. "And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." ~ 2 Corinthians 9:8 (NIV)

S - Search God's Word for the truths and paths you take. "Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long." ~ Psalm 25:4-5 (NIV)

Please click the button below to join in this discussion on motives At the Well.



Melanie said...

As always, you've shared such great thoughts in this post, Laurie Ann!

I join you in the desire to be perfect! ;) Okay... I know as humans that's just not possible, but oh how nice it would be.

Have a great Monday!

He And Me + 3 said...

Great post. It really puts our actions into perspective. I hope that my motives are pure and for the right reasons. Not to benefit myself in any way but to bring honor to Him.

Joyfull said...

Beautiful post! Pure motives...that have their foundation in love and wisdom. Super thought to put us on the right track.

JesusRulzMe said...

Hey there twin!

I'm ALWAYS blessed when I come and visit you! ♥

I love all the Scriptures you shared with us, especially the Scripture-picture and Galatians 5:13-14.

You're posts are always so honest and God-glorifying!

I love you!

Darlene said...

I must say I have really not thought about whether my motives are out of love, obligation or honor. I would love to say it is from love...that is not always the case. I am going to think on this for a while. I want the things I do for others to be pleasing to God and for HIS glory. I can always find room for improvement. He is still working on me!
Sweet Blessings,

thequeenmommy said...

Wow - good thoughts. I love the MOTIVES acrostic! You've got some real "meat" in this post - thanks for sharing!

LauraLee Shaw said...

I love this post. Especially the "E" acronym. I want all that I do and say to exemplify my Savior. I desire it. Don't always accomplish it.

Love your precious heart.

Debra said...

Laurie Ann,

I had to examine my motives a long time's what brought me home and serving my family first and foremost. Never been happier and so at peace with the Lord in my life. Love the "e" too!

Love your teaching here today...blessings to you, sweet sister.

Rebecca said...

This is a truth filled post with lots of depth! There is so much good stuff here. I love all the verses. And I loved this thought "But our motives should have their foundation in love and wisdom from the Lord." Thanks!

Denise said...

Such lovely thoughts my friend.

LAURIE said...

Laurie Ann,
Thank you for joining me in this most heart changing topic today over AT THE WELL. As always, I love your honesty and I loved your acrostic. May God continue to change us, mold us and be patient with us! -Blessings, Laurie

Amydeanne said...

pleasing to him... boy.. lots to think about Laurie!!!

Melissa, Multi-Tasking Mama said...

Checking our motives is so important! Thanks for the reminder and the beautiful post.

Shabby Olde Potting Shed said...

Hey girl,
I've had to examine my motives from time to time as well. Putting those things in the proper perspective can definitely turn us back on track.
I had a revelation of some of those on your list a few years ago, and getting a grip on them, is enlightening.
SMOOCHY holykisses,