Continuing the theme this week I want to look at some false motives. By false motives, I mean those that are done for one’s glory. Like we see in Philippians 1:15, those who preach Christ from envy or strife. They do it to look good or to get even with someone. It is not to glorify God but for themselves.
This is like a story I heard from Mark Yarbrough, the now President of Dallas Theological Seminary. He was speaking about reasons to attend seminary and reasons not to attend seminary. He said that if you are attending to get a degree so you can flaunt it in someone’s face or hold it over their head, that you are better off not getting a degree. This is what those who were preaching Christ from envy and strife were doing.
But it is not only them. No, we see in Scripture in Second Corinthians that there were some so-called “super-apostles” who were seeking to undermine Paul. He states that these had slipped in and as “the serpent deceived Eve” so to their “thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ” (2 Cor. 11:3). He goes on and says that he is not in any way inferior to these “super-apostles” (11:5). Even if he is not as skilled in oratory as they, or because he had humility and was humble with them and sacrificed much for their growth and learning of the WOrd of God and the gospel of the grace of God (11:6-13). He even compares them to Satan who disguises himself as an angel of light (11:14-15).
These apostles had false motives that had corrupted them from possible real and solid gospel ministry. They had become enraptured with themselves and what they could do, that they left God out of the equation. This is what false motives will do to us. They will make us think that “WE” have done all this good and leave God behind. We will become arrogant and not allow anyone to speak to us in a way that comes across as critical. False motives create monsters and not disciples. We become either so consumed with how we look and how we are perceived, or we become cynical, bitter, or vindictive. It is not grace nor is it of grace.
Grace says we love and care for others like ourselves (Rom. 13:9). We should only seek to outdo one another in “showing honor” (Rom. 12:10). And when we do this we do not flaunt it but we do it out of love and for the mutual upbuilding of others. We do this to glorify God and not ourselves. We build on the foundation of Christ with gold, silver, and precious stones. Not with the wood, hay, and stubble of jealousies and false motives that will just be burnt up (1 Cor. 3:11-15). The works done for the right motives will receive a reward while the other will not. Remember, “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil” (2 Cor. 5:10). Once we stand before this judgment it will be best for you if you served with proper motives rather than false motives.