04 August 2008

Motives and agendas...

Question of the day: Is it more important to be willing to do something or to do something because you are willing? Ok, I know that sounds like "circular reasoning" [as my logics teacher tried to teach me about in college decades ago], but there really is a difference. Even the Bible talks about it. [Read Matthew 21:28-30] In that Bible passage, Jesus tells the parable about a father asking his two sons to go work in His vineyard: one says, I won't go, but repents and goes; the other says, I'll go and yet never does. The first son did the task because he was willing - it took him some time, but he did. The second son was willing to do it, but never followed through with it...never did what was asked of him. Jesus then posed the question, "which son did the will of the Father?"

I am pondering this question because sometimes I feel like I am more like the first son than the second. I will initially resist doing a task asked of me, but then when no one else will step up to the plate [or, in all honesty, if I think they are messing up and I think I can do it better], I'll step up and help out or take over - basically, get it done. I might resent being put in that position (or more honestly, putting myself in that position), but in the end - whatever needed to be done is done. My brother, on the other hand, is DEFINITELY the second son. (I ain't judging, I'm just saying). My brother, Kevin, is a charmer who, early in life, realized that it works for him to say "yeah, I'll do that" and then apologize later when he drops the ball and doesn't do it. By the time he gets around to apologizing, someone (usually me) has already fixed the problem or handled the situation. Who is right - who is wrong in this situation?

I think it all boils down to motives and agendas. I do not mean to imply that my brother does not have a good heart or good intentions. He does. He means well. At the moment he says he will do it, he probably means it with all his heart. But time and experience have taught me that just because he says he will do something, don't be foolish enough not to have a backup plan in case he cannot (or does not) come through. But what about me? What are my motives for always being the one who gets the job done? Is there some secret glory in the "martyrdom" of being the "go to" person at home, work, church, the school board, friendships and relationships? Is there a level of vanity in knowing I'm the "responsible" one in so many aspects of my life? It is a slippery slope and one that I have to be very careful about.

Even with writing this blog, sometimes I have to question my motives. Am I writing for praise and accolades and "Girl, you sure blessed me with what you said/wrote"? Or are my motives pure? Am I writing because I know God has blessed me with the ability to write and I am just trying to use this talent to praise Him - in my own unique and quirky way? I know what I think is the true motivation - I just pray that I am not deluding myself. 'Cause it really ain't about me. It is about Him. I am glad whenever someone tells me that they are blessed by something that I write or say or do. Praise Him that He is willing to use a faulty, cracked vessel like me to bless someone else, but if I ever get the "big head" about, I hope my friends will pull me up short and say, "hey! It ain't about you." [And believe me, I have friends who I KNOW will do just that!]

As you move through this day (and through life), my prayer for all of us (especially those of us with ministries that God has placed on our hearts and in our lives) is that our motives are pure and our agendas are in line with His plans for our lives.

Be blessed.

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