12It is a reason for pride and exultation to which our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world [generally] and especially toward you, with devout and pure motives and godly sincerity, not in fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God (the unmerited favor and merciful kindness by which God, exerting His holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, and keeps, strengthens, and increases them in Christian virtues).- 2 Corinthians 1:12 (AMP)
Life from birth, even conception, molds our thought process, emotions and responses. There are proven scientific studies that playing music to a child while in the womb or even reading to them stimulates them. Human beings are the most profound “machines” of anything created and in all of the doctoral studies there are constantly new discoveries being made.
Men and women are two exclusively different individuals that complement one another so perfectly that when united, with God, become whole. Our differences were meant to be a source to draw from one another, to complete what we each lacked, to cause us to be dependent on one another. Too often however, it is a source of contention, instead of completion.
Are you a wife, a mother, a daughter, or a friend? Are you employed outside of your home? Are you active in church ministries, community activities, and school programs? What are you doing, why are you doing it, and what motivates you?
As a professed follower of Christ are you motivated by Him or society around you? You may think that saying you’re a Christian should answer that question, but the fact is that Paul, in today’s Scripture, was addressing the church at Corinth. He was assuring them of his own motives.
What causes us to do the things we do, say the things we say, and respond the way we respond? With the rush of the whirlwind of life that constantly surrounds us, do we ever take a moment to stop and evaluate our motives? Do we consult our Day Planner for our availability before we consult God and His advice? Do we rush into something “good” asking God to bless it later, offering Him our argument for why we did it in the first place?
Self-motivation is rooted in self. It is a dangerous lie that hides behind a façade of doing so much for others, that you couldn’t possibly be doing it for you. The truth is revealed in the feeding of the ego inside that is constantly looking for the next pat on the back. The pride of what you have done, how much you have accomplished, and the confirmation by those surrounding you.
It has an appearance of godliness. It can offer correction, quote Scripture, teach Sunday school and win the PTA award for the best parent volunteer.
Look at Michal, King David’s wife. Of course a Godly wife would be concerned with her husband’s, especially the King’s, behavior and how he appeared in the eyes of the people. If she saw something compromising, she should address it right? What motivated Michal?
20Then David returned to bless his household. And [his wife] Michal daughter of Saul came out to meet David and said, How glorious was the king of Israel today, who stripped himself of his kingly robes and uncovered himself in the eyes of his servants' maids as one of the worthless fellows shamelessly uncovers himself! 2 Samuel 6:20 (AMP)
You must read the verse in context to see the entire picture. The story of Michal started as one of devotion to her husband in 1 Samuel. She even went against her father, King Saul, in an honorable commitment to save her husband David’s life. Yet when 2 Samuel chapter six tells its story, Michal has changed, she despises her husband in her heart.
Her once Godly motives toward her husband had soured. Although her opinion of the situation may have held weight, her motives were wrong. A bystander may have heard the conversation and thought, you know, she is absolutely right! But the Bystander knew her motivation and dealt to her accordingly. Michal was barren.
What is motivating you? Are all of your efforts seemingly fruitless or barren? Do you get the impression that although you are doing more you are still getting nowhere? Why is that so?
Stop giving the devil more credit than he deserves. Don’t proclaim that he is destroying your marriage, your children, your finances and friendships.
Maybe it’s just time to check your motives. Instead of consulting your calendar, take some time and consult God. He will answer you. You may not always like what He has to say, but I can guarantee He has your best interests at heart. He knows what you need, what you need to do and how you need to do it better than you do.
You cannot have pure motives and godly sincerity without God. Pure motives come straight from the Source. Without His direction our motives become tainted and lack sincerity.
Ask Him today. He will set you on His path, and that is where grace, mercy and Wisdom dwell. Are you motivated?