Two news stories today caught my attention. One about a teacher who blogged her frustrations about her students' lack of motivation and the other about a prominent Christian leader who has some incredibly pointed words for the church, which is problematic given his context and story. The point for me is this – what is your motivation? What pushes and drives you to do what you do every day?

Please withhold the Sunday school answer, even if you believe it, for just a moment.

If, as we’d probably say, the motivation had something to do with a relationship with God or a becoming more like Jesus then what evidences would we give for that? What are good measurements for proving our motivation? Is it as Michael Wilkins says - if we're abiding in Christ, loving one another, and producing good fruit - is that the measurement?

Motivation is the thing that keeps us going, it keeps us in marriages when things are dicey, it keeps us in churches when we feel as if they are aligned against us personally, it keeps us fighting against injustice and evil when the score seems completely lopsided.

So what is your motivation? Have you ever looked at a day, looked at all the decisions you’ve made and things you’ve said, and reached behind them with this key question: Why did I do/say/think that instead of doing/saying/thinking something else?

Figuring out what motivates us is a key component to our formation in Christ. As we come back to the Sunday school answer, becoming like Christ is something that can become another merit-badge opportunity if our motivation is coming from the wrong places. If we seek God...

...to avoid hell…

...to keep up a family tradition…

...to stay “in good with God” for the benefits package…

...to impress our spouse or significant other…

...to maintain friendships for the sake of business networking…

...to keep our guilt level at a minimum…

What is your motivation for reading the Bible, praying, serving, worshiping with other people? Could it be that your motivation is killing you? What is the one thing that should motivate us all?

I think it is John 13:1. What about you?

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