Thursday, June 9, 2011

What's Your Motive?

Thursdays – Dawn’s Devotions for Writers
“All a man's ways seem innocent to him, but
motives are weighed by the Lord. Commit to
the Lord whatever you do, and your plans
will succeed.” (Proverbs 16:2-3 NIV)

What’s my motive?

Do you ever ask yourself that question? My motive for doing laundry every week is that I like clean underwear. I don’t enjoy grocery shopping, but a gal’s gotta eat! Don’t you think your family would mutiny if the refrigerator didn’t get stocked at some point during the week? That’s motive to battle aisles filled with rude shoppers and their carts.

But, what about times when volunteers are needed at church or at your children’s school? Do you offer assistance because you get excited about what you can contribute? Or do you raise your hand because you want to be liked and accepted? Maybe you’re afraid it will make you look bad if you don’t join in with the rest. Perhaps the “thanks” and accolades that are sure to follow are too hard to resist.

Like most people, I struggle with pride. As a vocalist on a contemporary worship team, I need to constantly check myself. If my motive for singing in front of the congregation is for my glory and not God’s, people will see right through me, and I’ll become a distraction and hindrance to their worship experience.

Proverbs 16:2 says that the Lord weighs out our motives. He knows what’s in our hearts. I believe the Lord holds back blessings if our motives are wrong, and we do things out of selfishness and pride. Our primary concern should be that we’re doing it—whatever “it” is—for the right reasons, not personal fame.

This certainly applies to our writing careers. Are we writing to prove something to our family and friends? Are we hoping to gain notoriety? Some great financial gain?

There’s nothing wrong with feeling good about what we do or having our family and friends acknowledge that we have talent or skills. Nor is it wrong to be paid for our labor. But in our heart of hearts, are we writing to serve God and follow our calling, or are we writing to serve and elevate ourselves?

If our motive is truly to honor God with our gifts, then we won’t become so easily discouraged or envious when others experience earlier—or more—success.

Let’s commit whatever we do—including our writing—to the Lord. With true and honorable motives, we can’t be anything but successful.

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