Motivation is defined as “that which moves one toward an action, that which changes, provokes or impels our very being.”  Behind every spoken (or typed) word, and behind every action, lies a motivation.

A broken world paired with our sinful nature offers a smorgasbord of motivations.  There’s bitterness…it gets the job done!  When bitterness takes root, it informs far too many of our thoughts and decisions.  Manipulation is another motivator.  Sometimes we don’t trust things will work out how they are supposed to, so we do everything in our power to turn a situation in our favor.  The allure of success motivates.  We want to be seen as “good” or to get glory for a job well done.  The striving never stops.  Another common motivator is comfort.  We’ll do whatever we need to do to achieve the comfiest, most risk-averse life possible.

And then there’s Jesus.  He was tempted and He experienced great suffering, but He never let bitterness, manipulation, success, or comfort be His guide.  His motivation was always to do the will of the Father, and that motivation kept Him on mission.

What drives you?  If you’ve fallen into the trap of an unhealthy motivater, self-reflection is the precursor to change.  The psalmist’s prayer in Psalm 139:23-24 is a great prayer for this: “Search me, O God, and know my heart!  Try me and know my thoughts!  And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!”  God’s kindness will not shame you, but He is faithful to convict you through His word and the power of the Holy Spirit when change is needed.

Let’s let Jesus’ motivator be ours, too.  Love is a worthwhile motivator.  With love at the helm, our thoughts and actions will reflect that we love God, that we love others, and that we want to do whatever we can to invite more people to follow Jesus.

Invite somebody to church this week-it could change their motivation forever!

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Central Christian Church | Mount Vernon, Illinois