An idea that always hits me, right between the eyes is that our motives are not always what they seem. Nor are they always pure. I know, shocking, right?
Take this blog post for instance, I could have two different motives here. I could be writing this post so that you, my dear reader, are blessed and encouraged in your walk with the Lord OR I could be trying to make a good impression on you and trying to make you think that I'm a super-Christian "mature beyond my years" with a lot of impassioned speech and fancy rhetoric. With these two perspectives in mind, which would be the better mindset to write a blog post from? Which post would be better?
"Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves..."
(Philippians 2:3 NASB)
You see, our motives tint what we do. If I were to regard you, my reader, as more important than myself I would need to drop my pride, let go of my desire to be highly regarded, and focus on the bettering and the lifting up of you. Even if it's at my own expense. Again, I ask, which would be the better post?
I love how the scripture goes on, because it brings everything full circle.
"Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross."
What makes me better than Jesus?! Jesus is God. If anyone had a right to His own motives, wouldn't it be Jesus? But He didn't take it. Jesus had God's motives in mind- He put God's mission ahead of everything else- He emptied Himself out for God's sake- and for our sakes. His motives of considering God as better than Himself (which He is God, therefore, He would be in fact, equal to God) were so pure that He gave everything at His own expense to fulfill them.
It all goes back to pride. Yep, you may remember my previous post about pride - it seems that so many sins can be rooted back to this deadly feeling. PRIDE gives us a feeling of superiority which gives us an inferior view of those around us. PRIDE causes us to view ourselves as "entitled" to "something", when in fact, we have no entitlements whatsoever. PRIDE can tint our actions, our work, and make it ineffective for the cause of Christ!
When we have humility of mind and can understand who we are without Christ, then we will have God's motives in mind and wish to glorify Him in our actions and our work. Which will be the more quality work? That which was done to the glory of the worker, with the subjective standard of the worker in mind? OR the work which is done to the to the encouragement and edification of the saints according to the objective standard of glorifying God and making His name known?
My dear reader, I know that my own standards and motives are shallow and too small a thing to live for. I know that in the past sometimes it effected the quality of my work- therefore you and this little blog- and I deeply apologize for this! With God's grace and help I am moving forward, with a higher vision and higher standards in the forefront of my mind so that I might encourage and lift you and those around me up, as well as to
"In the same way, let your light shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."