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Motives/Motivations

“Distraction serves a purpose. Like gargoyles guarding the roofline of a cathedral, distractions first serve to ward off those who lack proper motivation. In an age when people claim to be “spiritual, not religious”—not really knowing what they mean by either—lack of proper motivation is common.” (Martin Laird)


“Our motivations are hidden from others and even ourselves. But God knows the secrets of the soul…the “Logos” (Jesus Christ who is the Word Incarnate) judges the intentions and thoughts of the heart, that is, the invisible underlying disposition and the motives hidden in the soul… In everything that we do God searches out our purpose to see whether we do it for Him or for some other reason… our motivation for doing good and lending should not be our own gain in this world. But our goal should be the Kingdom of God and to be called “children of God.” (Fr. Basil, St. Maximos the Confessor)


“What should we do when others try to undercut our good intentions?... we may believe that the Spirit is inspiring our purpose. If so, it may be difficult to explain our motivation to others. But in response to their discouragement, we can pray for discernment. We can put our motives to the test to ensure that they are not our interests and desires but the Lord’s…If we find that we are denying the difficulties that others point out, then we must ask ourselves whether we are being foolhardy or brave, stubborn or faithful…Our readiness to suffer the consequences of our course of action is a further test of our intentions. Our spiritual willingness to face the results of our plans is a sign that we believe that our calling is “of God.” If so, then we can trust that the Lord will provide what is necessary for us to fulfill the calling that He has given us.” (Fr. Basil)


“Our ability to think things through should never be taken for granted, and perhaps there are few abilities more valuable for our spiritual well-¬being. If we do not learn to pause, be aware, and analyze our motivations before reacting, we can create interactions that lead to us feeling revictimized or even retraumatized. Lack of awareness can also lead to our inadvertently retraumatizing someone else. Many would say that people are becoming less and less able to engage in critical thinking in today’s world. The mental health field has been claiming for some time that in our society we are becoming less adept at managing our emotions and being able to sit with negative emotions.” (Fr. Joshua Makoul)


“…everything in the Christian life should be motivated from a pure heart illumined by the gospel…Let our intent always be entirely truthful, for only a pure heart lives openly in the light of God’s truth. We are to consider who we and what we are in the eyes of God, not the eyes of men.” (Dynamis 11/27/2002, 5/19/2020)


"Is it worth it, to invest time and energy in spiritual life, improving my conscious contact with God in prayer, contemplation, fasting, liturgy, self-examination, self-giving, and/ or whatever other tools are available to me? It is perhaps easier to be motivated toward material goals, like going on a diet and jogging daily to be physically fit; or working hard at my job to make more money and attain more financial “security.”" (Sr. Dr. Vassa Larin)


“God is impressed, not with noise or size or wealth, but with quiet things … things done in secret—the inner motives, the true heart condition.” (Charles Swindoll)


“When the two disciples began to follow Jesus, he asked them, “What do you want?” Following Christ is not enough; we must follow him for the right reasons. To follow Christ for our own purposes would be asking Christ to follow us—to align with us to support and advance our cause, not his. We must examine our motives for following him. Are we seeking his glory or ours?” (Life Application Study Bible, John 1:38)


“A true Christian experience has its source in and is motivated by a personal relationship with Christ. Not just a personal relationship that saves me, but a relationship that determines my behavior, responses, thoughts, and actions in ways that would be particularly pleasing to Him.” (Joseph Stowell)


“Detectives always try to establish motives for the crimes they investigate. They do so by careful examination of evidence. We should always undergo our own careful examination of ourselves to know our motivations for our thoughts and actions. Our primary motivation should be our relationship, that is communion or oneness, with God…When we make communion our number-one priority, we mature beyond the destructive motivations that destroy our lives.” (Sacramental Living Ministries, Father Barnabas Powell)


“Many people seek an encounter with the Lord, yet with wrong motives…Before you act, know your motivation…no one can read the heart of a giver. A giver’s motive is known only to God.” (OCPM 10/12/2017, Martha Bolton, Foundation Study Bible, Mark 14:7)


“In the person of Jesus Christ, God has taught us that we are rarely judged solely by our actions for God has a gaze that pierces than our deeds. He sees at the back of everything we do, to its motive and that is the measure of value in His sight.” (Fr. Andrew Demotses)


“...the motivation of transparency is important. The culture teaches people to be candid and blunt, but this usually revolves around self-centeredness—you have a right to express your true feelings and your rage. This is transparency for the sake of shock value and personal entitlement. Instead, the Christian way to approach transparency is to realize our candidness should be motivated by a desire to have a pure heart before God and others.” (David Kinnaman & Gabe Lyons)


“A likely occasion for fear is physical loss and a shortfall of material resources, for we tend to be oriented toward the physical realm rather than the spiritual. Hence, it is necessary to declare that we are merely the stewards of what is in our hands and under our control. All earthly things are the Lord’s, not ours. An excellent approach to putting material things in their place is to tithe ten percent of our income – and then to go beyond that by making regular offerings for those in need. The Lord Jesus frequently directs us to give alms and to apply the standards of the Kingdom to the handling of our finances. We must remember that “where [our] treasure is, there [our] heart will be also” (Lk 12:34). Above all, we are to value what God values: the condition of our hearts, the quality of our motives, and our capacity to love.” (Dynamis 1/4/2020)


“[Service is] To be motivated and serve God and humanity in the spirit of sacrificial love (agape), self-giving or self-emptying (kenosis), and faithful fulfillment of the specific needs of others in local and global settings.” (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese)


#SrDrVassaLarin #CharlesSwindoll #LifeApplicationStudyBible #JosephStowell #SacramentalLivingMinistries #FatherBarnabasPowell #OCPM #MarthaBolton #FoundationStudyBible #FrAndrewDemotses #DavidKinnamanGabeLyons #Dynamis #GreekOrthodoxArchdiocese #MartinLaird #FrBasil #StMaximostheConfessor #FrJoshuaMakoul

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