Gathering At the Well

This is my first time participating in this – I’m jumping at the opportunity because I really want to share some of my thoughts on life as a Christian and I haven’t done much of that since I started faithfully updating this blog. The reason it’s so important to me? Following Christ is the most important part of my life and I want to be able to share that with my readers. :-)

I have to say that I don’t consider myself an “older woman” or wise woman… I’m 25 (26 this month!) and have SO much to learn. But I figure I can learn a lot from other Christian women who participate. And it’s not like I’ve never been through anything – I may not consider myself a fount of wisdom but we do tend to learn things we can pass on to others in this life. And I’d be happy to share what I do know.

So on to the discussion.

The topic for today is:

Are my motives pleasing to you, God?

The discussion questions are:

What is the real underlying motive for all the good stuff that you do?

FOR EXAMPLE:

Do you go to church to fulfill an obligation?
Do you get involved to get a reaction from someone; possibly pity, recognition or even money?
Do you volunteer in your child’s classroom to analyze the new teacher or is it to help?
Do you share prayer requests for a chance to gossip or because you truly care and are praying?

My Thoughts:

First of all, I’m trying to think of what good stuff I do do. This post could get really long – not with all my good works (HA). I’m just warning you, I’m an overanalyzer (What do they mean by good?). lol But I’ll try to stick to the topic and not get off on tangents (that would be inherited from my long-winded but lovable dad).

I’m not that great when it comes to volunteering and getting involved, I will admit. Which I think can be worse than doing good with a wrong motive (is it?). It’s not because I don’t want to – I know it’s rewarding. I’m just really good at talking myself out of things that take me out of my comfort zone. My husband needs me at home. My baby needs me (24/7). I don’t want to drive that far. I could be reading. (ha) It’s something I’ve been praying about lately and even blogged about not that long ago. I will say that there haven’t been a lot of opportunities that I refuse – it’s not like that. It’s just that my husband and I are kind of introverts. That has changed since my daughter was born in May, though. Happily. :-) I’m getting more confident, I think.

I don’t think I have bad motives when I do the things in the examples, though… generally, anyway. Of course I’m human and have been guilty of rationalizing telling something potentially gossip-worthy while asking for prayer from a friend. I guess that’s one of the things you have to use your own judgment about, though. If it’s a person you really trust not to repeat it, that’s one thing. I try not to talk things to death and encourage gossip. (Wait, this sounds an awful lot like rationalizing…)

I don’t go to church to fulfill an obligation usually. Of course there are times I wake up Sunday morning and think, “Maybe I should sleep in today…”. But I really love church, and I love our church. Oh, and getting involved definitely helps when you’re the type who is tempted to talk yourself out of going. ;-) My husband helps lead worship so skipping isn’t really an option. And I’m glad, because I’m always happy I went.

Good question – I think we should try to evaluate our motives regularly. It’s one of those things our hearts can be deceitful about. Why is it so important WHY as long as we’re doing those things, we might ask? There is such a huge difference between doing something for God and doing it for yourself. I know that one of my struggles is keeping my heart focused on God during worship… I find my thoughts going all over the place even though what I’m singing is supposed to be to God, worshiping God. I have to constantly ask God to help me focus on Him and not myself, not worry about what others think of my singing, my appearance, my restless child… just for those moments, it’s not about me.

1 Cor 13:1-8 – If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but I do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so that I can remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, and if I give over my body in order to boast, but do not have love, I receive no benefit. Love is patient, love is kind, it is not envious. Love does not brag, it is not puffed up. It is not rude, it is not self-serving, it is not easily angered or resentful. It is not glad about injustice, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.

“Be careful not to do your acts of righteousness before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.” – Matthew 6:1

Edited to add: In re-reading this post, I was worried that I sounded a little arrogant – a little like, “Well, my motives are all pure mostly…” – of course that’s not true! What I’m trying to say is that it’s something that I’m constantly praying about. I mean, why in the first place did I want to do more volunteering and helping people? Somewhere in my heart is a true desire to do this to please God and to give to others. It’s always there because I’m a Christian and desire to serve God. But at times that desire can be overshadowed by the hope that I look like a good Christian to others, or that I’ll be rewarded in some way. And that’s not what this life is about. It’s not about me. Thank God I can go back to Him every time and He’ll forgive me these selfish motives – and even better, help me to get back on track if I ask!

Another thing – we don’t have to do good works to impress God, or earn our way to heaven. The bible says that our “good works” (in terms of EARNING our way to heaven) are as “filthy rags”. Jesus has already paid the price for our sins – we don’t need to earn our way to heaven! Despite this knowledge, I find myself wanting to earn God’s love sometimes. I have to keep reminding myself that whatever I do, His love for me doesn’t change.

Would you like to participate in
Gathering at the Well? Then head on over to At the Well… In Pursuit of Titus 2 and sign Mr. Linky!

What do you think about this topic?

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10 Responses to gathering at the well – my thoughts on motives

  • Lindsey, this was great. I think that we can learn something from each other whether 5 or 105. I look forward to reading more. Maybe I’ll jump in soon too. it sounds like a great place to learn and grow!

    Have a wonderful day!

    Kelly

  • Thanks for joining in today! I too tend to overanalyze, so I know where you are coming from!

  • Thank you for sharing today, it was a blessing to read your post. What a great truth rings out: It’s not about us, but all about Him”. Have a blessed week!

  • What a great post! Thank you for sharing your heart. It is all about Him!! :D

  • Great post!

    Hey…I gave you an award over at my blog!

  • Hi Lindsey, thank you for such an honest post.

    It’s only when we are truly open with God that He can do what He really wants to.

    Great post.

    Blessings,
    Vickie

  • Welcome to the Well. I’m so glad you jumped in. You have so much to offer, no matter what your age. I’m an introvert, too, so I face many of those same challenges. :) Absolutely wonderful post!

  • Hey sister Lindsey,

    I completely relate to your statement:

    “It’s just that my husband and I are kind of introverts.”

    I’m an EXTREME introvert. I remember when I was a little younger than you (23) I wanted God to really show me how to give, how to demonstrate my love to Him by fulfilling the greatest commandment and the second one like it (Matthew 22:36-39). God answered me loud and clear, serve Him through teaching, preaching the Gospel and discipling other women. I reminded God (how arrogant) that He made me an introvert so it probably would be better if I served somewhere “behind-the-scenes” like in a soup kitchen. He said “NO”.

    And you are so right, we don’t need to “earn” God’s love, Christ Jesus imputed His righteousness to us when He took our punishment for our sins and died for us.

    I’m so delighted you joined us today at the “Well”! ♥

    I look forward to seeing you here again!

    Bless you sister,
    Sunny

  • I am so glad that you joined us over AT THE WELL today for the discussion of “are my motives pleasing?”. You have such a sweet spirit and I look forward to seeing more of you at the well.

    You mentioned that you were not an “older” woman, I would like to encourage you that “older” does not always pertain to age in years but spiritually mature. I think you have much that you can share with other ladies here At The Well.

    Thanks for joining the discussion today, Laurie

  • Glad you decided to join in at the well. I think it’s a great way to share about our Christian life. I tend to write long too. :) Just so much to say about such good topics.

    Not worrying about what others think is such a hard thing to do at our most basic human level. I know how quickly my thoughts can wander during worship. But what a reward when we do. Thanks for sharing so honestly! ~ Rebecca

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