Wrong Motives

Why Is It Wrong?

Motive is defined as the psychological feature that arouses an organism to action toward a desired goal; the reason for the action; that which gives purpose and direction to behavior. Motive” is something that causes a person to act in a certain way, do a certain thing, etc.; incentive. The goal or object of a person’s actions (Webster’s College Dictionary). A wrong motive is a besetting sin. However, while most of the other besetting sins may come up on us unaware. Having the wrong motive is a condition know very well to the person with the wrong intent. This is very similar to the sin of covetousness and sowing discord. Why? because the person whose motive is wrong, knows that it is wrong – yet he or she continue in it. Why? such person have a twofold motivation. Firstly, to obtain something for themselves; that is, what’s in it for me, what can I gain. Secondly, to be seen or accepted by others-such person seeks men recognition and acceptance.  

According to Christianity.com, “One thing that separates biblical Christianity from almost every other religion is its laser-like focus on our hearts. Our Creator cares what we do, to be sure, but most fundamentally He cares how and why we do certain things. He’s interested in those intentions that are hidden from human eyes. He’s after our hearts.”

God wants us to be in truth because one day it will be made known to all. Consider the following scripture from 2 Corinthians 5:10. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10).Whatever we do in our bodies will be made known one day to all. Every motives – every wrong hidden motives will come to light at the judgment seat of Christ. That is why God tells us in John  4:24 “God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” God wants us to serve Him in spirit and in truth not because of anything or anyone; we must serve God because we truly love Him.

(Excerpts from ~ Gotquestions.org).

“All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the LORD.” Because the human heart is very deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9), we can easily fool ourselves about our own motives. We can pretend that we are choosing certain actions for God or the benefit of others, when in reality we have selfish reasons. God is not fooled by our selfishness and is “a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).

What does the Bible say about motives? Got Questions.org

Answer: The Bible has a lot to say about our motives. A motive is the underlying reason for any action. Proverbs 16:2 says,Human beings can operate from a variety of motivations, often negative. Pride, anger, revenge, a sense of entitlement, or the desire for approval can all be catalysts for our actions. Any motivation that originates in our sinful flesh is not pleasing to God (Romans 8:8). God even evaluates the condition of our hearts when we give offerings to Him (2 Corinthians 9:7). Selfish motives can hinder our prayers. James 4:3 says, “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” Because our hearts are so deceitful, we should constantly evaluate our own motives and be willing to be honest with ourselves about why we are choosing a certain action. We can even preach and minister from impure motives (Philippians 1:17), but God is not impressed (Proverbs 21:27). Jesus spoke to this issue in Matthew 6:1 when He said, “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.” Those involved in ministry must stay alert to this tendency toward selfishness, because ministry begun for pure reasons can quickly devolve into selfish ambition if we do not guard our hearts (Proverbs 4:23).

So What Is The Right Motivation? Got Questions.org

“Our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of our hearts” (NLT). God is interested in our motives even more than our actions.1 Corinthians 4:5 says that, when Jesus comes again, “He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.” God wants us to know that He sees what no one else sees. He knows why we do what we do and desires to reward those whose hearts are right toward Him. We can keep our motives pure by continually surrendering every part of our hearts to the control of the Holy Spirit. Here are some specific questions to help us evaluate our own motives:

  • If no one ever knows what I am doing (giving, serving, sacrificing), would I still do it?
  • If there was no visible payoff for doing this, would I still do it?
  • Would I joyfully take a lesser position if God asked me to?
  • Am I doing this for the praise of others or how it makes me feel?
  •  If I had to suffer for continuing what God has called me to do, would I continue?
  •  If others misunderstand or criticize my actions, will I stop?
  •  If those whom I am serving never show gratitude or repay me in any way, will I still do it?
  •  Do I judge my success or failure based upon my faithfulness to what God has asked me to do, or how I compare with others?

Motivation becomes an issue when we are not honest with ourselves about why we are doing things. When we give the outward appearance of obeying God but our hearts are hard, God knows. We are deceiving ourselves and others, too. The only way we can operate from pure motives is when we “walk in the Spirit”(Galatians 5:16, 25). When we allow Him to control every part of us, then our desire is to please Him and not ourselves. Our flesh constantly clamors to exalt itself, and only when we walk in the Spirit will we not gratify those desires of our flesh.”

Hidden Motives For Following Jesus ~ Inspired Walk.com

“To certain people, the primary motive for following God is because they believe that He will give them what their flesh and carnal minds desire. The motivation to acquire riches and possessions blinds them from genuinely following God for the right reasons because they have been deceived into believing that God MUST grant them whatever they desire. However Jesus teaches that life is more than about what possessions we have or the amount of money we have and that if we seek after material things only then we are short-sighted and do not understand God’s eternal plan. Jesus also taught that our primary focus should be to seek God’s kingdom & righteousness FIRST (Matthew 6:33). In John 6:27, the Bible warns – Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on Him God the Father has set His seal). It is also important to realize that while God is Jehovah our Provider, it is God’s prerogative to either give us or to withhold giving us the material desires that we want. Therefore God is not obligated to give us what we want because He is not Santa Clause / Father Christmas. He is God.”

Serving With The Wrong Motives ~ Pastor Alan 

One of the reasons we often get burned out serving is because we do things with wrong motives. The following is a list of misguided reasons for serving within the church:

  • Serving in order to make oneself worthy enough for God. Some people serve because they believe that they have to continue to earn God’s forgiveness and acceptance. 
  • Serving in order to get something from God. Some do good things because they believe that if they work hard, then God will be good to them. They serve within the church in order to get things from God.  God wants our faithfulness and love more than our service.
  • Serving to impress or to please others. Some serve because they want people to notice them. They take positions of leadership and authority because they want others to know what an important role they play within the church. These individuals often become frustrated and upset when they aren’t properly recognized or thanked by others for their service.
  • Serving in order to be part of the “in-crowd.” They serve so that others will accept and embrace them. Still others serve because they can’t bear to let people down or disappoint them.
  • Serving because Jesus or his church needs me. Certain people feel that they are solely responsible for carrying out a particular ministry and doing it well. They view themselves as being needed by the church to oversee specific ministries. They mistakenly believe that the church and its ministries would fall apart without them. They feel as if they are indispensable and that Jesus and His bride do, in fact, need them. What we all sometimes forget is that God doesn’t need us. He’s quite capable of carrying out his will without us. It’s a harsh reality for some, but a reality nonetheless, that every person in a position of service is replaceable. Jesus and His bride are not dependent upon any one person. Christ may accomplish things through believers, but He isn’t dependent upon them.

Ten Good Reasons Why We Should Follow JESUS

(Inspired Walk.com)

1. Because we love Him. If you love somebody you will want to do the things that please them – (John 14:15 – If you love Me, you will keep my commandments).

2. Because we want to serve Him above all things – (Matthew 16:24-26 – Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life?)

3. Because we desire to learn from Him – Of the 5000 followers, many of them decided to no longer follow Jesus. However, disciples such as Peter remained with Christ because they knew that only Jesus could really teach them the truth about life. (John 6:66 – After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with Him. 

4. Because we desire to obey Him – (Luke 6:46-49 – “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”)

5. Because we want to glorify and praise Him above everything – (1 Peter 4:11 – Whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.)

6. Because He is our Lord & Saviour – (Acts 4:12 – And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.)

7. Because He is the Way the Truth & the Life – (John 14:6 – Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.)

8. Because only He can satisfy our every need – Contrary to the teachings of various “prosperity” teachers, God’s mandate is not to supply us with every material need, but however He does supply us with every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 1:3 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places) and (John 6:35 – Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst)

9. Because we would rather have Jesus and follow the Lord rather than to have what the world offers – (Romans 12:1-2 – I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect). (Matthew 16:26-27 – For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life? For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.)

10. Because we desire to yield to the teaching & direction of the Holy Spirit so that we follow and genuinely obey God in our lives – (John 16:8-15 – And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; 11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. 12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.)

Our Motives — The Berean Society

The Berean Society provides some additional insights with regards to our motives. “We are responsible for our own motives just as we are for our actions. In fact, our motives as well as our actions will someday be made known and laid bare before our Lord Jesus Christ. There will be two different and distinct judgments of mankind. In both judgments, all can be assured that they will receive a fair hearing.In the case of lost sinners of all ages, not only their actions, but also their motives will speak for them. Many will be those who have appeared good on the outside. They may have claimed to be Christians and may have gone to church and even talked and acted like a Christian. However, Jesus Christ taught that many will say to Him in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? And in Thy name cast out devils? And in Thy name done many wonderful works? However, at the judgment, the Lord Jesus Christ will profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity (Matt. 7:22,23). Their inward motives will be revealed and they are going to the lake of fire as a result of their rejection of Him who died to save them. We who are saved, because of our belief in the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work, have His assurance that we are going to heaven and will be there with our Lord and Savior for eternity. Nevertheless, the Word of God informs us that even we saved are going to appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ.

We will all give account of ourselves to God. All of us will receive reward or loss for what we have done in our bodies (Rom. 14:10-12; II Cor. 5:10). The exact nature of this judgment and how it will work out in eternity is not spelled out. For if it were, mankind would make the criteria given into so many rules and regulations that these would be turned into works which would then become the focus of attention. However, we can be sure that our motives will be revealed, as well as our actions. We know from God’s Word that we are to judge ourselves. In regard to the communion we have with our Lord Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul reveals, “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body” (I Cor. 11:28,29). Also, he teaches, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (II Cor. 13:5).

The Greek word translated “reprobates” means unapproved; by implication worthless: castaway, rejected.We may be able to fool ourselves and others, but we will not be able to fool our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, the living Word of God.“For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.“Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do” (Heb. 4:12,13).The living Word knows all motives and He will someday bring them to light. Therefore, let us not be arrogant in our good works and outward appearance of good. Let us examine ourselves that we may reflect Him and be truly loving and gracious in our lives.

Hidde Motives

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