The Other Reason?
What’s your motivation? Why do you live the life you do and in the way, you do? Is it because of your motivation? If so, what is that motivating factor? Motivation, the reason we do the things we do, makes a tremendous difference in not only our own lives but the lives of those around us. But where exactly does motivation come from? Do we act because of motivationÂ or are we motivated because we act?
I read an article written by, author, James Clear this week regarding motivation. He approaches motivation from a scientific view. One of the things he stated however stuck a chord with me that I felt tied in with this week’s focus verse. Clear says that motivation is usually the result of action and not the cause of it. He indicates that taking the initiative to get started sparks a form of active inspiration that spirals and builds into the momentum that results in motivation.
But is there nothing that sparks motivation, to begin with? Famous golfer, Bobby Jones, dominated the golfing world in the 1920’s. Jones received a lot of grief about why he was maintaining his amateur status and not transitioning to the professional realm. He explained it by saying that the word amateur comes from the Latin amo meaning to love. He loved to play the game and didn’t want that motive to change. Love was his motivation, should it be ours?
The Motivation of Love
It seems that followers of Christ should certainly find their motivation in life through His love. Christ’s love is the greatest of all motivators for it is because of His love that we follow and live for Him and not ourselves. It is because of His love that we hold freedom. The freedom to love others as He loves us.
Without the needed motivation of love, we tend to no longer see the person and instead only the problems they exhibit. This causes our freedom found in Christ to disappear along with our unity with one another. For then, we become focused on how others are not like us. This downward spiral often causes criticism to build and expand. It is important to remember before this happens that Christ’s love for us remains the same. So, even when we don’t feel like being loving to others, ”going the extra mile,” or ”turning the other cheek” it really is the time to remind ourselves that He is always there and that His love for us never changes. Because of this, it is important that we strive to do the same.
For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: ”Love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:14 (NLT)
So, do we need to act through love to be motivated by love? Perhaps, as the actions of love are the necessary motivation of life. Love can certainly be the catalyst to begin the spark that continues the momentum to build a consistent and constant action. It could be said perhaps that for every action created through love there is an equal reaction. But if everything should be done with the active motivation of love how should problems be resolved?
Love and Problems
The Apostle Paul says that problems should be dealt with the love of Christ in mind. Using freedom to serve one another through love is the way to serve God fully. By looking first at other people through His eyes, the negative can turn around if we begin with a positive.
When a problem that presents itself needs addressing, you should first begin with a list of positive attributes or qualities of a person before addressing the negative issue. Once you have determined the positive, you can better address the person in love. It is always important to deal with issues involving other people directly and not discuss or gossip with others.
When dealing with difficult situations remind yourself as many times as needed that Christ doesn’t give His love to you because of what you do or how you behave. You receive His love the same no matter what. Therefore, it is important to make all attempts to treat others as He treats you. You aren’t loving the problem but the person. This is certainly no less than the way you want to receive needed extra grace during a difficult day. Christ loves you no matter what and by honoring Him for His love you can return it to others around you. With love as your key motivation, problems with others can be worked through and solved.
The Positive Actions of Love
Is love your motivation? In his book Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis wrote, ”Do not waste your time bothering whether you ”˜love’ your neighbor, act as if you did.” This is the great secret, for when you behave as if you love someone, you will presently come to love them. This action of love motivation is a continued theme seen throughout the ages. As 15th Century writer Thomas a’Kempis wrote, ”Whoever loves much, does much.”
Whether there is conflict, problems, or just life it is important to look atÂ it all with the active motivation of love and this can’t be done without recognizing the love of Christ. So, find yourself challenged to love others as Christ loves you. Allow your convictions to secure you in His love so you can approach others with it. Let your actions of love be your motivation to solve problems and address concerns of the world. Knowing that through and with His love the way to change is possible. Lastly, find comfort in knowing that no matter how good or bad you behave Christ loves you the same. This love in action is neither earned or taken away for it is truly a gift given and is your motivation.
Love in Christ
Compassion can’t be measured in dollars and cents. It does come with a price tag, but that price tag isn’t the amount of money spent. The price tag is love.
J.C. Watts Jr.
What are your thoughts?
Is love your motivation? Do you think that actions initiate motivation? Is the love action of Christ reflected in your daily life with others? Share your thoughts on whether you feel that the active motivation of love comes first or that the action of love is the motivation.
Credits Clear, J. (2018). Motivation: The Scientific Guide on How to Get and Stay Motivated. Retrieved from James Clear: https://jamesclear.com/motivation#Common Misconceptions About Motivation