I want to this week to look at and study our motivations. We have motivations in everything we do. Whether this is in exercising, eating cake or other sweets, in our jobs, or in doing chores around the home. In all of these, there are motivations.
In exercising we are motivated either to have a better body or for health reasons. Regardless we are motivated, one is just a better reason. In eating cake or other sweets we have a motivation to have an indulgence. We want something sweet because it is good, or we are eating because of some other issue and think the sweets will help. Both are motivations, but one is appropriate where the other is not.
In our jobs, we are working to provide, have a home and vehicle, as well as clothes for us and our families, and to do what we were created to do. We could also be working just to make money and get material items. In this, we just trudge through the week and do whatever we can to attain what we want. Both are motivations but one is the appropriate motive while the other is not.
In doing household chores we may very well do them because we desire to help. We want to be a good helper to our spouse, teach our children to be responsible, or just not want to live in filth, i.e., be a good steward of what we have. Or we may be doing chores to get something we want. We may very well be doing them for personal gain rather than because it is right to do so. Again, one is the appropriate motive while the other is not.
One thing about the motives is that in each the action is completed. The exercise is done and we are healthier. The cake has given some short-lived joy, one is the desired while in the other the person is left wanting. In our jobs, the work is completed and the boss is happy. But again only one gives the fulfillment one desires and was created for. The same can be said for the chores. The house is cleaned and dishes are done, yet only one brings harmony to the home.
This is what we see in the Scripture from Philippians 1:15–18, where Paul wrote “Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from goodwill: The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains; but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice.”
Motivation. There are good motivations here, and there are bad motivations here. Christ was proclaimed and people were saved, but the ones who preached from the appropriate motive were the ones who did it for the glory of the Lord. The others did it for their own glory and out of spite to Paul. Again, Christ was preached but one from the wrong motive and the other from the correct motive. One will be rewarded while the other will not. Don’t get me wrong the one will be rewarded here, but the other will be rewarded in eternity, and that is the one we want. That is the one that should motivate us all.