Checking your motives when working for the Lord
“Is the work I am doing for the Lord being done with right motives? This question came to mind this week as I re-entered ministry in sharing God’s Word with others (through this website and social media to be exact). I wanted to make sure that whatever I was doing was for the right who and the right why. That I was REALLY working for the Lord to give him the glory and not for myself to take the credit.
After 5 months of stepping back from writing, I quickly noticed how easy it is to fall into the same trap that led me to stop blogging, to begin with. The trap filled with wrong motives. Money, fame, false satisfaction, and selfishness are just a few places you can find yourself when you’re dealing with wrong motives. That’s why it’s extremely important to check your motives when working for the Lord as wrong motives are going to be detrimental to your growth.
This is what I have learned in the first month back to writing and the questions I ask myself:
1. Is it God’s will or your own
Anytime you do something, make sure that it’s God’s will and not your own. Many times we think that because something is good in man’s eyes, that it’s God’s will for us. If that were the case, many of us would not be in the ministry we’re in now. There are those who went to seminary school but are now stay-at-home moms, those you wanted to be married but are instead living in Africa serving those in need. There are many good things we can do in this life, but it’s more so what God wants us to do. Or maybe it’s not God’s timing. From our human perspective, we think because something makes sense, that it’s the right thing or the right time.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, ” declares the Lord” Isaiah 55:8
2. Are you doing it for the right reasons
In whatever we are doing we need to make sure we are doing it for the right who and the right why. If you’ve been given a task, are you doing it for yourself, for others, or for God? Also, what is the why behind it? Is it money, fame, or to serve others? These are all questions you want to consider while checking your motives.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” Colossians 3:23
3. What kind of fruit are you bearing
To help check if you’re doing something for the right reasons, you will see what kind of fruit you are bearing. If you’re doing something out of selfish gain, you may find yourself stealing from others in ways that cause them to stumble and take the wrong path. If you truly know that you’re in God’s will and are wanting to serve others, you may have the opportunity to see blessings and seeds grow. Although, it’s beautiful to see the seeds you’ve planted flourish, make sure those are not your motives as we are not always going to see. But, be sure to praise God when you do!
“The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.” Matthew 12:35
I know it seems a bit harsh, but it’s our choice what we have stored up in us. If we are full of hate, anger, and selfishness, we’re not going to bear good fruit. But if you have good stored up in you, you can expect to bear good fruit.
4. Do you have the right attitude
Even though you have purposed in your heart to do something good, it all comes down to the attitude you have while doing it. You may have heard this at church right before the tithes are collected but it can also be applied in all that you do.
“Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or out of compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7
For many years I have been guilty of doing things either out of obligation or pity. That is not how we should be giving. Another thing is, don’t give because you’re expecting something in return. God speaks very clearly on what kind of attitude we need to have whenever we do anything. And that’s to give with a cheerful heart.
5. Are you neglecting one area for another
You may find yourself excited to do something you feel led to do, but quickly find out that you may be neglecting other areas in your life are just as important or possibly even more important. It reminds me of the saying “Never leave your partner, especially in a fire” from the movie Fireproof where a firefighter is laying down his life for complete strangers as he saves them from house fires and car accidents yet fails to lay down his life for his own wife. Neglecting her every need. I can relate to this so much when it comes to marriage as well as in other areas where we Christians tend to find ourselves.
Many of us want to do good for God’s Kingdom and are eager to get started and get out there. We find an awesome ministry to be a part of where we are helping others in need all while our home life is struggling to stay a float. I came across this scripture as I started writing again as part of ministry and though it is speaking directly to overseers and deacons I found it speaking much wisdom into my own life.
“(If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?)” 1 Timothy 3:5
Talk about, convicting! With that being said, no matter where you are or what good you are currently doing, ask yourself if there are other areas you may be neglecting all while making sure you are seeking God’s will, doing things for the right reasons, checking the fruit you bear, and having the right attitude.
These are all things I have found myself asking anytime I take on a new task or think I am doing something for the Lord. I’m always checking my motives and have sometimes found that if I am truthful with myself that I have a lot of heart work to do and that I cannot do it alone. Allow God to search your heart as His Word says,
“All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the Lord.” Proverbs 16:2
You may also want to read: Trying to do “godly works” apart from Him