Motives determine just about everything we do individually.
They are internal. We control them. They directly affect how we act, and they immediately show what’s in our hearts. Jesus talks about this a lot in Matthew 6, and whenever he conversed with people, he went straight to the heart. When your motives change your actions do, too.
Unfortunately for us, Scripture makes it clear that our motives are pretty messed up. We’ve been wrecked for a while now (since we were conceived).
Jeremiah 17:9 – “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”
Psalm 51:5 – “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.”
All humans are stuck in this wicked conundrum we started. Especially Christians. The church. Christ’s bride. We’re really a dirty girl with a dirty heart. But reading these verses has been a wonderful reminder of how much I need Jesus every day, and how much love he has for me despite my sin. It’s the love of Christ that both makes me desire to align my motives with his will and allows me to change them at all.
When analyzing motives, all that’s needed is to ask, “why” you do what you do. Heart check.
This week has been my Spring Break. I have been with my girlfriend and parents up in North Carolina, and as I’ve been spending time with them and contemplating about God’s plans for me in the far future and in these next few months, He has put it on my heart to have a ‘life check’ with a lot of my decisions.
Why do I do what I do? What am I hoping to get or achieve? What are my dreams? Do they end with me or others? Do they point back to God?
A lot of my answers have been encouraging to think on, while others have been convicting.
Because Satan is always trying to get God’s kids (that’s the Christians, of course), we need to often look at our hearts and search for our true motives. Being a Christian means we surrender our motives to Jesus every day and be guided by the Holy Spirit in love in order to love God and others we encounter all the time.
I think the busyness of life usually gets in the way of us checking our hearts, which is probably why Paul told the Corinthian church to always examine their hearts and make sure they’re in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5). In fact, our sex culture can really relate to some of the struggles they faced in their day.
The best part about the whole story is that no matter how far off we may run away with our motives, our Heavenly Father always welcomes us back with his open arms (2 Timothy 2:13).
So I ask you the same questions – if you think you don’t need a heart check, then you really need one.
Why do you do what you do? What are you hoping to get or achieve? What are your dreams? Do they end with you or others? Do they point back to God?