Monday, February 9, 2009

At the Well Topic.... Motives

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Gathering at the well
This weeks Topic and Discussion Questions
are my motives pleasing to you, God?
What is the real underlying motive for all the good stuff that I do?
Pr 16:2 Al the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, but the LORD weights the Motives.
Jas 2:4 have you not made distinctions amoung yourselves, and become judges with evil
Jas 4:3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong Motives, so that you may
spend it on your pleasures.
Motives pose at least a two fold dilemma :
1. The status of a good deed done for the wrong reason or an evil deed done with
good (or even without) intent.
2. The effect of a motive (good or bad) that never has opportunity to find fulfillment.
The fundamental issue prompting the dilemma is that there is not a one-to-one correspondence between a given action and the motive. The same action may be either cencured or defended depending upn one's motive. For example, a difference between first-and second-degree murder resides in whether or not the homicide was intentional: the former is punishable by death, while the latter allows for clemency.
The above principle is apparent when Jesus does not want his executors condemned because their motive are commensurated with the great crime they are committing: "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing" Luke 23:34
In the same way, otherwise acceptaable deeds become less attractive, even repulsive, when base motives are behind them, giving to the poor, fasting are activities encouraged throughout the Bible, but Jesus underscores that God will not reward those who do them for selfish reasons (Matt 6:1-8) .
Jesus rebukes the disciples for jumping to inapprooprate conclusions about people and their deeds after observing only their actions (Matt 26:6-13).
After all, a little given sacrificially is more commendable than giving much where no sacrifice is involved (Mark 12:41-44.
Unlike humans, God sees both the actions and the intents of human beings, a fact that means God has a considerably different evaluation of our deeds, one that is based upon our motives: "God knows our hearts."
What is highly valued among men is detestable in God's sight."
Joseph told his brothers "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good in or to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." Gen 50:20.
Jesus notes that it is the "PURE HEART" who will be rewarded, even as he equates anger with murder and lust with adultery.
Now it is time for me to search my heart.
"Try me Lord and see if there is any wiched way in me.
The heart is wicked and who can know it.
God tries the heart.
Heavenly Father, I thank you that you know my heart. You know my rising up
and my setting down. Every hair on my head is numbered. You numbered my
days before I was born. You choose the family you wanted me to be planted and
bloomed in. There is nothing hid from you. You know the intent of my heart.
and you test my works whither they are gold or hay and I will be rewarded by
you. Most of all I thank you for the finished work of Jesus. Amen


  1. Thank you so much for sharing your heart and thoughts at the Well today! Blessings to you...

  2. Sarah June,
    Glad to see you AT THE WELL today. I have enjoyed reading all of the posts and comments about this topic of "motives". -God bless, Laurie

  3. thank you for sharing and enjoying at the well today.

    Have a great day!