I don’t know about you, but lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the motivation behind the things I do. For example, why do I dress the way I dress, or try to make people laugh, or insist on exercising six days a week? Are these things that I enjoy? Or do I have other motives? Who am I trying to impress? It seems like whatever it is I am using to make myself feel good about myself, I am always left wanting more, or looking for something new. My hunger is never fulfilled. I am always TRYING to win the favor of someone, whether it is myself, my friends, or even God.
I’ve been listening to Mar Hill Bible Church’s podcasts since the summer. For those of you who don’t know, Mars Hill is Rob Bell’s church. If you don’t know who Rob Bell is, he is a Pastor/Author and also the guy from the NOOMA videos. And if you aren’t familiar with the NOOMA videos, then I don’t know what to tell you. Anyway, back in September Mars Hill started a sermon series on the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) that has really helped me to think about what Jesus was actually preaching two millennia ago. I love what Rob has to say about the Beatitudes, or the “Bless-eds”, (as Biff likes to call them). A lot of times when we think of Jesus saying “Blessed are the poor in Spirit” or “Blessed are the Peacemakers” we assume that in order to be blessed, we need to become poor in spirit, or become peacemakers. It’s like, “what can I do to become meek? Cause if I want to find favor in God’s eyes, I need to make myself meek.” I don’t think that is what Jesus was saying. Jesus fulfilled the Law so we don’t have to. I could talk more about this, but maybe another time.
So back to what I was saying earlier about always trying to do things to find favor with people. I find myself doing this all the time with God. I think something like, “I need to read my Bible today so God is happy with me.” Or, “have I prayed enough today, I don’t think I’ve prayed enough today?” Of course I’m not saying that reading my Bible or praying are not things that I should be doing everyday, I’m just talking about my motivation for doing them. God wants us to read our Bibles. He wants us to give to the poor. But He also wants us to want to do these things, not because we are trying to earn His favor, but because we love learning about Him, or we love the poor. It’s hard sometimes and I think that most Christians understand grace, and know that we are not saved by our works, but do we truly live like we believe it? I don’t always live like I believe it. Well, I just thought I’d share some of what I’ve been thinking about lately, hope it was worth your time.