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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Day 158: Motive

Today's Reading: Proverbs 16-18

All a person's ways seem innocent to her,
but motives are weighed by the LORD.

What causes you to act the way you do?

What motivates your daily chores?

What calls you to do your duty?

What stimulates you to serve?

The Wisdom Writer of Proverbs shares with us the truth that God "gets" our motives. The other day while I was serving at our local food ministry, my outside countanance displayed compassion, charity and kindness. Inwardly, I wanted to be home. I wanted to leave my discomfort with the poor, the dirty, the unsocial and just go to my comfortable environment.

What motivated me to be there in the first place? Was it my understanding of my role as pastor of the church; was it my "duty" that motivated me?

Was I there because I am a social person. I love to be around other people who volunteer; they are so positive in a sometimes negative world. We have so much fun! I love to cook. What better place would there be to be?

Was I there to assuage my guilt? I look at my life of privilege and think, "The least I can do is serve a meal once in awhile. Perhaps that will make me feel better the next time I see a transient with a sign asking for money, food or a place to sleep. I can inwardly comfort myself by saying to Self, 'You've given your alloted time this month; you're off the hook.'"

Was I there out of fear? I realize each one of us is very close to being homeless in these economic times. What if the one needing a meal was me; or worse yet, one of my children?

Was I there out of love? God has so graciously provided for my every need. Do I love God so much that I can't help but love my neighbor?

Most of us go through life "innocently" doing tasks day by day. What would happen if we decided to think about the heart of the matter, the motive behind our actions? Would we be pleased? Would we be shocked?

Why do I make my bed?
Why do I choose the foods I do?
Why do I pray?
Why do I select the friends I have?
Why do I choose one activity over another?
Why do I drive the car I drive, read the books I read, watch the TV shows I watch?

All these "innocent" activities' motives are being weighed by God (and probably keeping some angel very busy!)

In the Bible, "glory" is a word whose root is in the word meaning "heavy" or "weighty." In the world's eye, one's glory is determined by the amount of weighty gold they carry in their pockets, how much weight they can throw around.

What is the weight of your motives? Do they bring great glory to God?

Something to think about...

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