Tag Archives: motives

Motives Matter

In one of the sales psychology courses I took and later trained, there was an assessment you had to take beforehand. In the class, we read through 12 types of individuals and their accompanying behaviors, then we got our results. Mine said I was a Hyper Pro. I took it as a badge of honor when I saw the title. Who wouldn’t want to be hyper professional? Then I started reading the description, the behaviors and how it was holding me back. One of the things it said was that I project success in order to attain success, meaning I care more about my outward appearance hoping it would influence the buyer. In my mind, it was questioning my motives and I took offense to the assessment. That night I was discussing the results with my wife and how upset it made me. She listened to me vent, then simply asked, “But is it true?”

No one likes to have their motives questioned, but it’s something good to examine constantly. The answer to her question changed my life and how I live it. I realized I needed other people’s approval and it was driving so many areas of my life. My motives for how I dressed, what I drove, where I lived were for others. God challenged me that night to get to the root of my need in doing things. While man looks at outward appearances, God looks at our heart and motives. Are we doing things so that we look good and get the accolades? Are we trying to impress others, influence them, get “likes” or shares so that our name is magnified? Those are tough questions to sit down and answer as you look in the mirror.

Matthew 6:1 says, “Examine your motives to make sure you’re not showing off when you do your good deeds, only to be admired by others; otherwise, you will lose the reward of your Heavenly Father” (TPT). Each of us are to examine our motives in all areas of our lives, but especially those where we are representing God. If we’re doing it so people will think better of us, we’ve got our reward. Verse 3 tells us how to keep things in check. “But when you demonstrate generosity, do it with pure motives and without drawing attention to yourself.” Can you give, help or represent God without trying to show the world to garner “likes” or accolades? I’m not saying we shouldn’t record, post or promote what we’re doing. I’m saying, we need to check our motives first. Motives matter to God.

Thanks to @styleanthropy for making this photo available freely on @unsplash

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Motives

Have you ever done the wrong thing for the right reasons? How about the right thing with the wrong motive? It’s funny. You and I tend to judge ourselves based on our motives and intentions while we judge others on their actions. We want others to give us grace when we do something wrong because we intended to do the right thing, yet we escalate when someone almost hits us in traffic. We scream, yell, call them names, honk and then use our vehicle to show them how mad we are. Interesting. We want people to give us the benefit of the doubt, but are we extending it to them?

The hard part for us is that we can’t see people’s motives or intentions. We can only see what they do. God sees both our actions and our motives and He judges us based on our motives. I’ve always heard that sin is less of an action and more of a attitude or motive behind the action. It’s hard to think that way when you think of Christianity as a list of do’s and don’t with God in the sky waiting to smite you for breaking His rules. That’s not who He is. The Bible says His mercy’s are new every morning and His kindness leads us to repentance. He’s not watching your actions waiting for you to mess up. He’s looking at your heart ready to forgive.

Here are some Bible verses on God looking at our motives.

1. Put me on trial, Lord, and cross-examine me. Test my motives and my heart.

Psalms 26:2 NLT

2. And you, Solomon my son, get to know well your father’s God; serve him with a whole heart and eager mind, for GOD examines every heart and sees through every motive.

1 Chronicles 28:9 MSG

3. Every man’s way is right in his own eyes, But the LORD weighs and examines the hearts [of people and their motives].

PROVERBS 21:2 AMP

4. We are all in love with our own opinions, convinced they’re correct. But the Lord is in the midst of us, testing and probing our every motive.

Proverbs 16:2 TPT

5. Don’t hesitate to rescue someone who is about to be executed unjustly. You may say that it is none of your business, but God knows and judges your motives. He keeps watch on you; he knows. And he will reward you according to what you do.

Proverbs 24:11-12 GNT

Photo by Andy Dutton on Unsplash

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