Last blog I talked about control and the awful fear associated with the lack of control. Wow! Thanks for the response and encouragement in letting me know I am not alone.
This week I’ve been thinking about how fear, control and motivation all seem to form a sort of triangle. I began to examine areas of my life, from everyday chores to daily disciplines to taking care of myself physically and spiritually. I was looking for what motivates me.
I imagine like most other women our day begins with similar thoughts:
What’s for dinner tonight? Well, who’s coming over? Oh, just hubby and I. Probably leftovers in the fridge, or cereal sounds good, better yet how about popcorn.
Who’s coming over today? No one. Then why do I need to clean the bathroom or pick up all the clutter? It can wait for another day.
Exercise? Only if I have a buddy. I mean what purpose is there for getting out of bed at 5:30 A.M.! None if it’s just me, but plenty if someone’s waiting for me to go walk for an hour.
Time to pray. Oh, there’s just me so why do I need to pray out loud or even stop to bow my head? I talk to God all day long in my mind.
Hmm motivation seems higher when “others” are involved.
If company’s coming for dinner motivation kicks into high gear. I can’t wait to plan the menu, go to the store for the ingredients, and come home to prepare it.
If someone’s coming to visit I wake up ready to go. I drag out the vacuum, dust the surfaces that have been sorely neglected, pick up and put things away or at least stuff them in a closet, chase the dust bunnies out from under the beds, wipe out the fridge…you never know.
And then there’s Bible study and prayer time. If I’m honest, when I’m doing a weekly Bible study with a group, I’m more likely to stick to a regular daily quiet time where I delve into the Bible and discover amazing truths while doing my homework.
I sheepishly invited the Holy Spirit into my examination asking Him why am I more likely to be motivated when others are involved, what’s my motivation really based on?
Well, He’s faithful to provide His answers when we ask.
I seek the approval of others. Boom! There it is: my deepest desire or motivation is to find my purpose, and I look to others to validate that I have purpose.
If I cook a great meal for others I feel pretty good about myself as I see them cleaning up their plates and heading back for seconds, most times commenting on how good it is.
If company comes and walks into the clean smelling home and exclaim, “How nice your home looks,” I feel those pats on the back and validation: yes I am a good person who takes care of her stuff.
Oh, and ugly as it seems, after prayer or Bible study group if others comment on the insights I’ve shared from doing my daily homework, I feel the affirmation. Truly I must hear from God to have been capable of gleaning such insights.
Why is it not enough to just cook, clean, exercise, pray and study my Bible because it’s good…..good for me…good for those around me?
Reality is, I’m looking for purpose, my performance that brings the approval of others tells me I must have purpose, I must be a good person. This is wrong thinking, my understanding is off course.
My performance, no matter how good or bad, doesn’t define who I am or what my purpose in life is.
All of us were created with purpose, and that purpose is to bring God glory. We fulfill our purpose of glorifying God also by living our lives in relationship and faithful service to Him. I Samuel 12:24 says “Only fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you.”
So today, here I am convicted and yet hopeful I can stop looking to my performance to define my purpose and stop seeking the approval of others. I can begin doing everything that I do simply to glorify (honor) my Creator; is He not worthy?! I can begin to receive His affirmation, He delights in us and calls us the apple of His eye (Zephaniah 3:17 & Zechariah 2:8)
How about you? What’s your motivation? Do you believe God created you with a purpose?