Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Check Your Motives

About five years ago, I read a book that you may have heard of. It was Rick Warren's - The Purpose Driven Life. Five years later, there is one thing I read that has stuck with me. I don't remember what chapter, day or page it was. I don't remember the examples he gave, but I do remember one statement.

It was- Check your motives.

Hmm.... well, I don't usually have bad motives. I try to be nice to people and to help. I try to do the right thing and be kind and helpful.

But, that's what I DO!
It is not WHAT IS BEHIND what I do.

When I started to look at the motives behind why I volunteered at the school, or why I made dinner for the new mom, or why I started a community service ministry or why I would say, "yes, yes and yes" when people would ask something of me, I found out that my motives were not so pure.

You see, I struggled with people-pleasing. You may think that people-pleasing isn't such a bad thing.

 But, it can be.

I found that a lot of my motives were selfish and sounded like these-

I want them to like me.
I want them to think I am nice.
I want them to see how organized I am.
I want them to think I am cool.
I want them to see how creative I am.
I want them to see how right I am.
I want them to ... blah, blah, blah, blah, blah!!!!!!!

When I looked at these, I thought- I sound like a teenage girl trying to gain approval- that is sad!

So, then I thought- What should be the motive? 
The book probably gave the answer, but shouldn't our motive always be- LOVE?

Then my motives would sound more like-

I volunteer because I love my kids and love education.
I made you dinner sweet friend because you just brought a baby into this world and I love you.
I lost weight and got healthy because I love the body God gave me and love my family.
I love the people in this community so I want to serve them.
I spoke truth to you because I love you.

Taking the time to check my motives- behind both what I  say and what I  do truly helped me to set boundaries.

Because, if I could ask myself the question-

What is my motive for wanting to do or say this?

And if my response wasn't LOVE...

...then it probably wasn't something I needed to do or say.


Denise said...

Love this. I need to pick this book up.
Stopping by from SITS! Please stop by!

Debbie said...

Oooh, I really like this! What a great way to look at things. And a perfect time of year to do some reflecting.
Dropped by from SITS.

campbell6 said...

Definitely check out the new "So Long Insecurity" book by Beth's not to late to get it and join the discussion group at the Living Proof blog. It's really kicking my rear. :-)

Angelica Bays, said...

You said it, Sister. Good job.

Foursons said...

Want to know why I always say yes? Because if I don't do it, it won't be done right. It's so hard being perfect. No one else can measure up.

Sheryl said...

amen!! it's a question i TRY to ask myself often..."what is my motive"? it helps to keep my mouth shut more often than not.

rntina said...

I think if more of us questioned our motives the world would be a much better place to live. Thanks for reminding me!!!

JANET! said...

GREAT post! The thing that has stuck with me from that book is this - God isn't mad AT you, He's mad ABOUT you!!!!!!! It warms my heart and makes it smile.