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What's in YOUR motivation?

I’ve often been a harsh critic of myself in the area of motivation. To me the ‘why’ I’m doing something is as important or more important than the ‘what’ I’m doing. I read a passage of scripture as a freshman in college that has never exited my mind. The passage is Philippians 2:1-11.

In the ministry we can often find ourselves doing things for the spotlight or greed or even ‘freedom from a boss’. At times there are good motivations that can replace the great motivation. Some people can find themselves in ministry because they are co-dependant. They seek to lead in a church because they get their self-esteem puffed up from helping others. For them, they live for someone to be helped because then they feel self-worth. The motivation in that case is completely selfish.

With volunteers we often see that someone would love to be on stage singing but that same person would never help with the nursery or pick up trash in the halls.

As Tony Morgan’s friend, Tim Stevens points out in “Simply Strategic Volunteers”, someone has to clean the toilets. I’ve removed several ‘on stage’ people after discovering that their motivation for the stage wasn’t to “Encourage and Equip people to Know God through his Son Jesus Christ.” It was to “Encourage and Adore myself by doing stuff these people like to (hear/see) about Jesus Christ.”

As Pastors we aren’t out of the loop either. In fact we have to constantly check-ourselves in this department. As we look back to scripture we are reminded that we are to not live out of selfish ambition and vain conceit but rather consider others better than ourselves. Why? Because Christ demonstrated this in His own life and we are to constantly point to Him, not ourselves. Our lives should hold mirrors reflecting Christ, not empty picture frames held in front of our face.

The God of the universe came to the planet in an Earth-Suit. Once here he SERVED. Then he DIED. He didn’t just die. He died a death on the CROSS!

What a paradox. All at once He was the supreme and the most humble being. He flipped our view of ‘supreme’ on it’s head.

I've learned in life that I’m not really all that powerful when I seek out selfish ambition. It doesn’t take much strength for me to attempt to make myself look good in the eyes of others. (we naturally do that on our own, our tire pressure always pulls to that side) It takes a ton of strength to keep my focus on glorifying God and considering others above myself.

So, what’s in YOUR motivation?

posted by Tally Wilgis @ Monday, June 13, 2005


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