Are you being motivated by numbers? Are you being motivated by money? Are you being motivated by praise? Are you being motivated by comparing yourself to others? Is that how you are measuring your ambitions and success? Are they self-centered? Are they prideful? Are they Are they selfish?
The proper motivation for doing what we do is LOVE! When we act out of love…when we act in love…then the how and the what and the when and the where start to change. It’s been interesting watching the review models change in the industry from being fully “what” driven to being almost equally measuring the “how”. Getting results and getting it done isn’t good enough anymore. If you are doing it at the expense of others or to the detriment of others, the “how” part of your review will suffer now.
Now where we are motived by LOVE and do what we do out of LOVE, then others are treated properly and then we start to join forces to get work done rather than being selfish and doing what at the expense of others rather than at the benefit of others. So consider what is your motivation…and see if you can or need to make a change to align with God’s purpose and plan so that your ambitions are drive by His wisdom and direction for your life!
Today reading starts in Psalms…
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.–from Psalm 51
What a powerful and yet simple statement sung and written by the psalmist.
When we receive Jesus into our hearts, He is able to move in and start cleaning house. He is able to see the junk we have been allowing into our lives and help us to purge and declutter the junk from our hearts, our minds, and our lives. It’s a process in many cases since it took us a while to get where we are at today and so although some of it He may be able to just cut out and we loose the desire, the attraction, the need there may be other things that are deeper and just because of what they are require a process to help it cleaned up and cleaned out.
Today’s reading continues with another psalm…
23Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! 24And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!
–from Psalm 139
So we need to stop and turn back to God! We need to start a new relationship with God and start to build up our friendship and our trust. We need to start building our faith! And work with God to get us back into alignment with His will and His purpose for our lives! His plans are good! There is no evil in Him! He is LOVE and He is light! What the devil plans for evil, God is able to take it and use it and turn it around and use it for good!
So where are you at today? Have already start the journey? Have you asked Jesus into your heart and started to work on that relationship? If not, what’s holding you back? What’s it going to take?
Today is the last day of our Ambition & Your Work devotion and it speaks to this topic too, t’s close reading that…
We’re Not Perfect in Our Pursuits
Today’s reading is from the Theology of Work Project.
In the New Testament, Paul works as an evangelist, apostle, tentmaker and leatherworker. There are marks of success and ambition in his profession, as in any other. How many converts you win, how much funding you raise, how many people praise you as their spiritual mentor, how your numbers compare to other evangelists—these can be points of pride and ambition. Paul admits that these motivations exist in his profession, but insists that the only proper motivation is love. On the other hand, Paul also acknowledges that regardless of others’ selfish motivations, he is pleased with the end result: Christ being preached.
In Philippians 1:15-18, Paul says:
“It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.”
Our ambitions are not always perfectly Christ-centered. We are all tempted to work for the marks of success, including recognition, security and money, which can lead to “selfish ambition.” (The Greek word used for selfish ambition in the context Paul is talking about, eritieias, is perhaps more precisely translated as “unfair self-promotion.”) These temptations often come as we accomplish the legitimate purposes of our jobs. Getting the work done is important, even if our motivation is not perfect. In the long run, however, motivation does matter, and the only Christ-like motivation is love.
If we find our ambitions stray toward selfishness, we can ask God to heal our hearts.