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Why? Discovering Our True Motives

By Don Loftis | 05.16.12

As we go through our lives, it is easy to see the things that are being done.  Behaviors such as kindness toward others, responsibility in paying debts, and obedience to God are evident to all.  However, behind every action there is a motivation.  Why did we behave a certain way?  Why did we make the choices that we did?

Typically, in religion, one of three motivations dominate our behaviors.  We may act a certain way because we fear God or our parents.  Simply put, we do not want to go to Hell.  In other settings, we are motivated by duty — a sense of obligation or routine.  At other times, love for the Lord compels us to live and act in certain ways.

While each of these motivations has biblical basis, love is clearly the highest.  Love is more durable, and it represents a deeper level of commitment.  Fear diminishes, but love intensifies.  In addition, there would be little argument that love is a much more pleasant emotion than either fear or duty.  Therefore, love affords a better experience in our daily discipleship.

If we are tempted to say that the motivation for our actions makes no difference, just try suggesting that to a spouse.  Kindness and faithfulness out of fear or obligation will never measure up to the sincere deeds of love.  Paul was not exaggerating reality, when he said, “the greatest of these is love.”

Remember, God is interested in both our deeds and our motives, and He is well aware of both.


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