On YouTube there are many Ted Talks and other videos that fall under the “7 steps to success” or “be all you can be” category. I’m referring to motivational talks. Motivational speakers and books have been wildly popular since the days of Dale Carnegie’s bestselling book “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” Even today authors like John Maxwell sell millions of books and are in demand as speakers everywhere.
Because your motivation is important. People don’t do things or say things unless there is a thought or an intention behind it. We need motivation to exercise, to work and be productive.
The Bible takes motivation seriously as well. When Jesus comes again, his judgement of every person will be by the “sharp two-edged sword” which comes out of His mouth (Rev. 1:16). Describing this very same sword, also known as the word of God, Hebrews 4:12-13 says that it discerns “the thoughts and intentions of the heart…all are naked and exposed to him to whom we must give account.” When I am judged, I will have to give account and everything I say will be either verified or corrected by Jesus, because he will reveal the motivations (thoughts and intentions) behind every action and word I said whilst alive.
Isn’t God really quite scary! Can I be sure I have the right motivation? The good news is that you can! It starts with the heart. Your actions and words will be right when your heart is right because “everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23).
Take the issue of forgiveness, for instance. Have you ever noticed that Jesus soberly warns us believers to forgive “from your heart?” (Matt. 18:35). He says this because it’s possible to claim that we have forgiven people, but there remains bitterness in our heart. The forgiveness has to be fully given from the heart or bitter actions and words will spill out from the overflow. The motivation must be there from the heart, or the actions and words won’t follow!
Is your heart acquainted with the love of God? 1 John says that the perfect way to have the right motivation and confidence on the day of judgement is related to knowing, believing and abiding in the love that God has for you:
“So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: in this world we are like Jesus.” 1 John 4:16-17
When your heart understands this its motivations will start to realign, and the words and actions will follow and we truly begin to live like Jesus in this world.
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