Christian Living Motivation

True Motivation

Whenever I meet someone who excels in their work, and also seems to enjoy it, I ask what motivates them.

Case and point: I have the most amazing dental hygienist! She is efficient and professional, but also caring and conscientious. So at my last appointment I asked her, “What drives you to such excellence in your work?”

I expected her to say something like she aspired to be at the top of her field, live up to her highest potential, etc. But that’s not what she said.

Instead, she told me how her own mother had lost all her teeth at a young age, and that this had negatively affected her self esteem. What drives my dental hygienist to excellence is her desire to help others protect their oral health–to avoid what her mother experienced.

Frankly, I was floored by such selfless dedication. My mind was tuned to an egotistical bandwidth, a self-centered preoccupation with gratifying my own desire to be the best. On the other hand, she was on an altruistic bandwidth, an unselfish devotion and concern for the welfare of others was her highest aim.

On my drive home, the self-sacrificial advice of Paul to the Philippians came to mind.

Do nothing out of self ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look out not only to your own personal interests, but also to the interests of others.

Philippians 2:3-4

Paul then holds up the attitude of Christ as an example; He was fully God, yet chose to become human and humbled Himself in obedience to God’s redemptive plan.

Christ literally loved us to the death!

I’m not trying to sound sacreligious, but imagine what it would have been like had Jesus been an egomaniac. This is what Satan wanted (Luke 4:1-13). It was also the desire of many of Jesus’ followers. John 6:15 says He withdrew to a mountain by Himself when he realized the people intended to make him king by force.

Maintaining a Christ-like attitude concerning the self can be a slippery slope.

As Christians we cringe when we hear the words self-centered, self-indulgent and self-serving, but what about self-sufficiency, self-confidence and self-discovery?

ALL of these involve a preoccupation with SELF.

I don’t know if my dental hygienist is a Christian, but God used her to remind me how a true believer in Jesus Christ should think.

He must become greater; I must become less.

John 3:30
My son, Clark, gave me this Jesus action figure for Christmas years ago. It’s the best present I’ve ever received.

By davidsdailydose

I'm just a regular guy who was
tempted to lose all hope but did not. It was God who made the difference.

27 replies on “True Motivation”

Amen. God knows our heart no matter how we appear on the exterior. Motive is key. Great scripture reference. 1 Corinthians 13: 1-8 is also great reference.

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Christ could have had anything on earth, however He chose to lead us into following the Father and then die for us for our sins. Out of everything He could have had, He chose love. Many could benefit from following in His footsteps. It would be the end of the poor, the hungry, crime, war and every other terrible thing of this world.

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We see and experience God’s love, joy, hope, peace through others. Thank you sharing inspiration and Beautiful Faith my friend. Your son’s gift indeed is a priceless treasure. It’s the simple things in life done out of great love that matters the most. Take care and stay safe. Happy Thanksgiving week.

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Thank you. I like to call the preoccupation with self, “navel gazing.” Of course, we can’t completely forget our need for affirmation and acceptance, but, more often than not, when I think too much about me it is an exercise in vanity. The am you for you for reading and commenting. I will check out your blog. Blessings.

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Daily we focus on ourselves – what we can do to be better at school, better at life, and better at (fill in the blank). While it is good to want to improve ourselves, we often lose sight of everything around us when that is all we focus on. We need to remember to take a step back and see what others need, and how we can help them. Thank you for this post!

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He the maker of heaven and earth is humble while we boast and feel confident of any tiny achievement. He accepted a walk to the cross while I complain if my shoes are too tight. Oh yes dealing with a real God who is so very different than we are is a terrifying thing…but for grace. Thank God for grace!

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“The only safe place is at the feet of Jesus…”
So true, David! Much like the position of the demon-possessed man after Jesus cast out Legion.
Hopefully the stumbling stone of “self” is chipped a little smaller each time we trip over it.
Good post! Good point! Thanks for sharing it!

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Yes, I have watched the movie you mention several times, Jeffrey. Just like the real Satan (and his demon buddies), Pacino always had another angle to explore with Keanu Reeves.

The only safe place is at the feet of Jesus, and we best stay there!

Thanks for reading and commenting. I always look forward to your thoughts. Blessings.

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Motives can be deceiving, yes? We think we should be the best, but why? To please self? Because we think that’s what God wants? Money? Fame? I fear that motives are mixed together so thoroughly that, to your point, we might think we’re motivated by good but have an underlying motive of self.
Have you ever watched The Devil’s Advocate with Keanu Reeves and Al Pacino? Pacino played Satan and was using Keanu’s character for his own nefarious purposes. At the end, Keanu walks away with his wife, having resisted temptation. But we realize ego as involved, and Pacino delivers the great last line: “Vanity. Definitely my favorite sin!”
Great article. We all need to be aware of what drives us!

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