I am an introvert and by nature, I tend to look inward. Some of you, extroverts, probably don’t look inward as much. I don’t know, maybe you do. I’ve been looking inward and came across this quote recently.
“There is always two reasons for doing a thing: one is a good reason and the other is the real reason.”
Stop and ponder that. What a great statement and it’s so matter of fact. Have you ever done something because of a ‘good’ reason, but the ‘real’ reason was quite different? If you’re like me, it turns out that a lot of our ‘real’ motivations are pretty selfish and end up glorifying self, for our own benefit. It may seem like we’re doing something ‘good’ but the ‘real’ reason is for our own benefit.
Have you ever considered your motivations? What is the why behind what you do? Behind every decision, every action, is a reason. Sometimes, I don’t think we really know the reason, but it’s there, waiting to be discovered. We just need to ask ourselves and pray “Why?” and just keep asking.
Why am I praying for this breakthrough? Is it because God is good and he wants to bless me so I can bless others or is the real reason because I’m tired of this trial and I just want out?
Why am I wanting that promotion? Is it because God has called me to be a leader or is the real reason I want to have a title that makes me feel respectable?
Why did I dress like that today? Is it because I wanted to look nice or is the real reason because I wanted to be noticed and complimented?
Why did I post that message on social media? Is it because I wanted others to know that ‘thing’ or because I want the likes and feel special.
Do you think God can see and understand your motivations? Of course He does. In Psalm 139 we read that God knows us intimately.
Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord.
We can fool others, but God sees our hearts. God wants our motivations to be genuine. He knows everything about us, even our false motivations.
We see in Jeremiah 17:10 that God judges our motives:
But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.
And in James 4:3, we learn that we don’t get what we ask for because of our wrong motives:
When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
Ouch. I’m not feeling so good about my motivations at the moment! How do we determine our motives? How do we judge our own motivations? How do we change? We do so by applying the word of God to our lives.
In Hebrews 4:12, we learn that the Word of God exposes our thoughts and desires.
For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.
And in Romans 12:2 we are encouraged to “…be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
Ask the Lord to bring light to your motivations through his word. Study and apply the Word of God to your life. Humble yourself and be transformed. Look inward and start asking yourself, “Why did I do that?”
I was inspired to look inward by a youtube video I viewed recently. I encourage you to check out this video:
Connect Group Ministry Leader