January 2022

Motive Matters

Last week I held a team-building exercise for my department. We were focusing on goal-setting, and beginning the process of creating vision boards. During the course of our initial discussion, we were sharing some of the ways we are motivated. Things like, words of affirmation, accomplishing a task, having a stable environment, and the accountability produced when others are depending on our performance.

As a manager and as a leader, I have found that helping people come to an awareness of why they are doing what they do is crucial to encouraging critical thinking and problem solving as they encounter challenges in accomplishing tasks and meeting expectations. We should be asking and answering the question, “Why is this important to me, to others, to the outcome?” Understanding “why” is fundamental to setting and achieving any goal.

And here’s why. (Pun intended.) Motivation is the fuel required to move us from here to there. When we are motivated, we are energized; we are compelled by passion into creativity and effort; and, we are willing to count the cost and to pay the price of expending our resources, whether they be mental, emotional, or physical.

As a believer, my underlying motivation in all things must be the love of God, and my heart and desire should be united with His. Of course I know this intellectually, but how often in a day am I distracted by my own self and find that the motive of my heart is less than pure. Thankfully, I am not my own and I can live by faith the victorious life He purchased for me. Like Paul, in his letter to the Philippians, I say, “Not that I have already grasped it all or have already become perfect, but I press on if I may also take hold of that for which I was even taken hold of by Christ Jesus.  Brothers and sisters, I do not regard myself as having taken hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12-14 NASB)

In this regard, my motive is Christ Himself. Pressing into communion with Him, listening for the command of His voice, giving all my effort to completing His mission. In my daily life, this means I follow Him, giving my utmost to represent Him well, working diligently, on purpose, and making every effort to approach each endeavor with cheerfulness and confidence.

I pray, dear reader, that you find the peace and the joy that comes from submitting your will entirely to His, to the extent that your desire to know Him compels you into His grace, His mercy, His truth, and His righteousness, and that this pursuit purifies the motive of your heart. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Until next week, beloved, let Him look into your heart, and make room for His purifying love.

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