What’s My Motivation?

Matthew 6:1 – 4 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. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

One of the funniest commercials I’ve ever seen came out a couple of years ago. I don’t even recall what was being advertised, but I do recall a bunch of tough, gang-looking guys playing a very in-your-face game of basketball. They were wearing bandannas around their heads, chains on their belts, and were sweating. They looked like the quintessential tough guys. Then, the camera (supposedly) stopped rolling, and the tough-guy-actors started whining like a bunch of little sissies, complaining that it was too hot, that someone had damaged an expensive manicure, etc. Then, one of them approached the director with one of those artsy drama-major type voices, and said, “Tell me again. What’s my motivation for this scene?”

When we do good things in this world, we need to ask ourselves, “What’s my motivation?” Are we trying to get noticed, so that others will see what kind, generous people we are? Are we trying to improve our images, or earn brownie points with people who can help us get to where we want to be?

Jesus calls us to do good, simply for the sake of doing good. He wants us to do the right things, and be generous, and help others even when no one is watching. He wants our motivation to be the simple act of doing good, and nothing more.

But it’s always easier to do the right thing when others are watching. Others’ opinions provide the motivation we may need to give generously, or go that extra mile. Jesus isn’t saying we shouldn’t ever do good things when others are watching. We just need to make sure that’s not the only reason we are doing them. And when possible, we should keep our good deeds to ourselves. After all, God sees. God rewards. And His rewards are always much bigger and better than anything man can offer. His rewards include transforming our hearts into His very image, and filling our lives with lasting peace and joy.

Now that’s some serious motivation.

Dear Father, Please forgive me for the times I’ve done good things, only so others would notice. Help me to act out of a pure heart.


7 Responses to What’s My Motivation?

  1. October 31, 2008 #

    Thank you renae for visiting my site. I enjoyed reading your devotional today. I often have to ask myself that very question, however not in regards to people watching. It is with everything and I love to do the most when I think noone is watching… however with people pleaser, perfectionist, good-girl tendencies… it is important for me to think and ask the Lord… “is my emotional bank empty?? am I trying to have it filled by someone besides you?? am I aching to be loved right now??” Those are the questions within …”what’s my motivation?”

    I love serving… it brings me the most joy. I often say that if I didn’t have to think about bills and $ I would work for free all the time. It brings me great pleasure to do things for others without any expectation.Yet… I have had a difficult time allowing others to do the same for me and that is where the question comes “what’s my motivation”.

    Thank you for sharing so openly and being willing to open your heart and experiences with us. What a gift and treasure to share this journey with others. God is good like that. πŸ™‚ May you be blessed beyond measure today and the soothing neosporin of God upon all that is within you. :)Blessings and grace to you. πŸ™‚

  2. October 31, 2008 #

    Thank you so much, Jeanette! I enjoyed visiting your site, very much. It is a big venture to start a new blog, and I’m confident yours will be a huge success!

    I can’t wait for you to meet my other “Jeanette” – my dear friend who guest posts for me sometimes. I’ll have to try not to confuse the two of you! You can visit her wonderful site – go to my blogroll and click on “Rocky Mountain Blue”.

    Looking forward to a growing friendship with you!


  3. October 31, 2008 #


    Oh, now I see you’ve been blogging for a while. Silly me! When I went earlier, only one post came up, and based on your subtitle, I thought that was your first. But I think I’ve been there before, haven’t I?

    I am quite technically challenged, as you will learn. Please bear with me. πŸ˜‰

  4. October 31, 2008 #

    Renae, I second Jeanette’s sentiments–I so appreciate your willingness to share your heart and experiences, and your wisdom. Thank you for the Bible-teaching and for your endless examples of good, clear writing. You are bloggerific!

  5. October 31, 2008 #

    Thanks, Pam! You’re pretty bloggerific, yourself! πŸ˜‰

  6. November 2, 2008 #

    What? Another Jeanette on Morning Coffee? And she even spells her name like mine?? This is great! Hi, Jeanette! I hope you will be back often! (When I first clicked on these comments, I thought to myself, Was I already here? Did I already write a comment?? Ha ha! I was definitely relieved to figure out that my memory is not quite that bad!)

    Thanks for the praise of my blog, Renae! And not to make you blush or anything, but I have never known anyone who was able to write so much all the time and have it be so fresh and insightful (and as Pam said, good clear writing) as you are. God has blessed you with a wonderful talent, and He blesses me through you all the time. I’m so thankful that Amrita’s blog brought you to my blog which brought me to yours!

    Thanks for another great post that makes me think.

  7. November 2, 2008 #

    Hi Jeanette! (((((blushing)))))

    Awww, shucks! Thanks!

    And truly, I am the one who has been blessed by our friendship.

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