Motivation can be defined as that which moves us toward decisions and actions, influencing our behaviour and ability to achieve goals. The list of things that may motivate us is extensive and is comprised of both negative and positive, sincere andinsincere.
Motivation is powerful. A teenager lost his contact lens while playing basketball in the driveway. After searching for sometime, he admitted to his mother that he had lost the lens, but was unable to find it. The mother went outside and ferventlysearched for, and finally found the contact lens. Receiving the lens back from his mother the youth said, “I really looked hard for that lens. How did you manage to find it?” The mother replied, “We weren’t really looking for the same thing. You werelooking for a small piece of plastic. I was looking for $150.”
Human motivation is also very complex and can be difficult to discern. My suspicion is that most will be motivated in a self-serving fashion of seeking personal aggrandizement. This suspicion is confirmed by the fact that all, or at least nearly all, ofthe driving forces for motivation, that psychologists list, are singular and self-centered. I call this the “all about me” disorder.I recall, many years ago now, counseling in my office with a 70-year-old grandmother and her 21-year-old grandson. Theobjective was to try to find satisfactory, affordable housing for her, her invalid husband and dependent grandson. After about15 minutes of wrestling with this, the young man abruptly and loudly exclaimed, “That is all fine and dandy! But let’s talkabout me for a while!”
The Bible provides copious amounts of information on motivation. The primary motive for Christians, quite the contrary fromthe aforementioned, comes from God and prompts believers to please Him. Jesus exemplified this when He said, “My food isto do what God wants! He is the one who sent me, and I must finish the work that He gave me to do” (John, 4:34). He wassuggesting that as food sustains our body, doing God’s will, motivates and sustains our activities. A thousand years earlier, inPsalm 40:8 David, in similar fashion, wrote, “I desire to do your will, O my God.”
Motivation for believers in Christ not only puts pleasing God at the top of the list, but puts self at the bottom; our desire toplease God results in our serving others. Jesus said that “The greatest among you will be your servant. For whoever exaltshimself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted” (Matthew 23:11,12).
“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing; that’s why we recommend it daily.” Zig Ziglar