The Bible clearly reveals that God knows the thoughts and intents of our hearts. God knows what we do, why we do it, and for whom we are doing it. Unfortunately, our fallen human nature is often guilty of doing the right things for the wrong reasons. The prophet Jeremiah told Baruch, “Are you seeking great things for yourself? Seek them not” (Jeremiah 45:5).
In Philippians 1:12-18, Paul reveals that there were people who were preaching the gospel with both good and bad motives. Nothing can stop the fact that there will always be this kind of this mixed motivation within the church. There are always apt to be people who are doing things for the wrong reasons or motivation. We know this because we read that it is very possible to be serving The Lord and exercising spiritual gifts apart from the motive of love for Christ and to see Him glorified. Knowing this did not discourage Paul in the least. He knew that in the end God would sort all of this out. But he also knew that God’s glory and power could never be diminished by feeble man’s mixed motives. In spite of one’s motives, God’s Spirit will work and accomplish His purposes. God does reward those who diligently seek Him. God even allows false prophets to perform miracles that bless others. What conclusion should we draw from these truths?
It’s simple; motives matter. The next time you are serving The Lord or giving to The Lord, stop and ask yourself a few questions. For whom am I doing this? Why am I doing this? Will it matter if I am recognized for doing it? May God be pleased to so work in the depths of our hearts that our motives for doing what we do are only driven by love for Christ and for His glory.