What motivates you? Really, deep down what drives you. I hate to admit it but sometimes my biggest drive is appreciation and recognition.
I am pretty sure I am not alone in two ways. One, a lot of people struggle with the right motivation and two you probably hate to admit it as well. We all have a desire to be needed and appreciated. Most people take great pride in what they do and want people to affirm the work they do.
A couple of years ago I spent my Friday cleaning the house from top to bottom. I thought it looked amazing. I was expecting Cami to walk in and just faint and then, as she came to, to shower me with complements. It didn’t happen. She had a bad day at work and all she wanted to do was tell me about her day. For some reason it upset me. But what was it that upset me; my expectations of admiration and thanks. Another time, I returned from a great weekend with kids. One by one the parents came and picked up their kids and not one single parent told me thank you. I am not writing this to let everyone know they need to be more appreciative of what I do. I am telling you this because I, probably like many of you, need to re-frame what motivates me from time to time.
A while back I was reading a story, which by the way occurs in three of the Gospel’s, of Jesus healing a paralytic. You know the story… “Some men” bring to Jesus a paralyzed man on a mat. The house is crowded, they get him up on the roof and rip it apart and lower him down in front of Jesus. Although, I have always assumed they just gave him a push…. I mean, he’s paralyzed; it not like the fall would hurt. Anyway, they get him in front of Jesus and Jesus heals him. He leaves running through the streets. But have you ever thought about the men? “Some men,” that’s it. The writers don’t applauded their faith and name the men in Hebrews chapter 11. Nothing, just “some men.” I wonder what their motivation was? What was there expectation? Maybe it was simply to get their friend to Jesus. And maybe they expected no thanks or recognition, but simply for Jesus to heal their friend. What is your motivation in life and in ministry? Simply to get people to Jesus? What these “some men” understood was they were not capable of healing their friend but Jesus was.
I would love to tell you my motivation is always about getting people to Jesus, but sometimes it’s not. I would love to tell you all I ever expect is that Jesus would change people’s lives. Sometimes, I get so inwardly focused on me, that I can lose sight of what Jesus can do for people. I can give amazing advice, I can help them make a decision, I can have a lot of fun, but only Jesus can truly change their life. Only Jesus can save! In John chapter 15 verse 5 Jesus says,
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
The last line has always helped to reframe my thinking, “apart from me you can do nothing!” WOW. I forget that and need to be reminded that what should be my motivation, is getting people to Jesus because of what He can do for them; I know what he can do because of what he has done for me. I believe if my motivation is right then my expectations will follow suit.
My Motivation: Get people to Jesus
My Expectation: For Jesus to transform their life