Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Motives are a funny thing. We all have them, we all operate out of them and yet so many of us are unaware of them. Proverbs 16:2 says "All a man's ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the Lord." The last part literally says "but the Lord weighs the Spirits."

In other words, God isn't just concerned about external behaviors, but about internal "motives" or "spirits." God cares just as much about what is happening internally, as he does about what is happening externally.

So many Christians think the Christian life is about what you do, but I would suggest that its more about who you are. Surface Christianity is about rules, deep Christianity is about what God is doing inside of you and as a result through you.

In any relationship there are motives behind the behaviors. Those motives may be pure, but externally carried out in a way perceived to be negative. Or, those motives may be negative, but externally carried out in a way that is positive.

Let me give you a scenario for negative motives being carried out in way perceived to be positive. Lets say I'm meeting a friend for lunch and I decide to buy it for him. That's an external behavior that looks good and pure, however, what if the only reason I am buying it is to soften the blow when I tell him that I've been dating his fiance'. That's not a pure and good motive even though the external behavior looks good.

Now let me give you a scenario for pure motives being carried out in a way perceived to be negative. Lets say I want to give my wife a day for herself. I wake up one morning and surprise her before she wakes up by taking the kids to my parents house. I leave her a note telling her I wanted to give her a day for herself, that she can do whatever she wants to do all day. Well, lets say my wife works full-time and this a Saturday. Also, lets say my wife does not like surprises and gets energy by being around the husband and kids. She may wake up, read the note and be furious. That's a pure motive in the husband that had the opposite effect of its intention.

Now, I know those scenarios aren't perfect, but what I'm trying to convey is that God does care about who we are and what we do. Have you checked your motives lately? They just might need a tune up.

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