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Thread: pure motives

  1. #1

    pure motives

    Hi all,

    I have recently made a conscious decision to grow in my relationship with God, and I have some questions about how we can know our motives are pure.

    For example, I love love love to go on international mission trips. I am planning my second one. It feels great to help people and I love travelling and learning about other languages/cultures. But how can I KNOW that I'm truly doing it to please God and not because it makes me feel good about my OWN self to help others?

    Ditto for wanting to be a doctor (which is what I am in school for.) YES, yes yes I want to help others and use my opportunities to mirror the acts of Christ as much as possible.. but how can I KNOW that my motives are not at least somewhat (if not VERY) self-serving? I pray regularly for God to help my motives to be truly pure to help me grow a sense of genuine altruism. Problem is, a lot of these things are somewhat self-serving as well. Does that make sense? Sometimes it seems that good works have a tendency to make us feel proud when of course we know the real credit belongs to Christ.

  2. #2
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    Whew!! You have asked the $64,000 question!

    I can't tell you how many times I have been in your same predicament ..... wanting to walk in a certain direction because it made me happy and yet wondering if it were God's will for my life. It was moral, good, and would bring happiness to others, yet I couldn't tell if God were directing me there or if it were just my own will.

    I can remember telling God (in so many words), "God, I have a wonderful idea for my life that You need to put your stamp of approval on!!"

    WRONG!

    I can't give you the magic answer, but I can tell you where I am trying to be in my life today and it's helping in this area.

    Matthew 6:33-34 (my paraphrasing)- "But you should seek after the kingdom of God and His righteousness first. Then all of those things (that we think we need) will be added to us.

    Don't worry about what's going to happen tomorrow. Tomorrow will take care of itself and there will be plenty of cares then. Today has enough troubles and concerns to keep us busy. In fact, each day has it's own concerns."

    First ..... Then.

    First God ..... then us.

    First today .... then tomorrow.

    First His righteousness .... then our desires (that HE will add, not that we will seek).
    ".....it's your nickel"

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by SunnyDay View Post
    Hi all,

    I have recently made a conscious decision to grow in my relationship with God, and I have some questions about how we can know our motives are pure.

    For example, I love love love to go on international mission trips. I am planning my second one. It feels great to help people and I love travelling and learning about other languages/cultures. But how can I KNOW that I'm truly doing it to please God and not because it makes me feel good about my OWN self to help others?

    Ditto for wanting to be a doctor (which is what I am in school for.) YES, yes yes I want to help others and use my opportunities to mirror the acts of Christ as much as possible.. but how can I KNOW that my motives are not at least somewhat (if not VERY) self-serving? I pray regularly for God to help my motives to be truly pure to help me grow a sense of genuine altruism. Problem is, a lot of these things are somewhat self-serving as well. Does that make sense? Sometimes it seems that good works have a tendency to make us feel proud when of course we know the real credit belongs to Christ.
    Sometimes it's nigh on impossible to detach the good deed from the personal benefit. If you pull someone out of a burning car you'd probably feel that you'd done something good (and quite rightly so). But to be sure to avoid that good feeling for yourself you'd have to leave the person in the car, which wouldn't be a good thing.

    In a sense if we are prone to pride (and even if we aren't it's one of many tools the devil has to try to bring us down) we can puff ourselves up with the good things we are doing. Whether those good things are saving lives in a real and direct way, or something less high-profile in human terms like going to church regularly, giving generously, praying for the minister every day - the obvious trap is to say how great we are for doing them. A closely related trap is to not do those good things as a way of escaping the associated pride.

    The advice to seek God's kingdom first is good - when God comes first everything else will follow according to the will of God. I'd add to that, pray for wisdom and humility. Both are fruit of the Spirit that are all-too frequently lacking in our society at large. Humility will help prevent getting prideful at the things you are achieving and make sure the glory goes to God. Wisdom will help assess whether you are doing the right things for the wrong reasons.
    24 August 2013 - I've decided to take a break from a number of internet forums, including this one, for my own reasons.
    I expect to be back at some time in the future, although at present don't know when that will be.
    I've been here just a few days shy of six years, and those six years have been greatly blessed.

    ---

    1Jn 4:1 NKJV Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
    1Th 5:21-22 NKJV Test all things; hold fast what is good. (22) Abstain from every form of evil.




  4. #4
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    I wouldn't concentrate on 'pure motives' because they are never 'pure'. A willingness suffices. His perfect obedience is credited to you through faith in Him and will cover your lack of 'pureness'.
    ♪ Each day may Christ become clearer, His Cross dearer, Our Hope nearer. ♫

  5. #5
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    Pride is always something that we will struggle with. From laypeople to Pastors. Its part of the indwelling sin that remains in us that we seek to mortify.

    I see nothing wrong with your post. The Lord has led you (so it seems) to partake in these events and you are blessed by helping out and reaching out to others. This is a very neglected field of work. I would assume that this is God's calling on your life and that you are awakening to it.

    Good that you are checking your motives! We must always examine ourselves before the Lord.

    I pray that as the Lord guides you that you will be a blessing to others! That you will advance the kingdom for His sake and that all the Glory goes to God!
    Quote Originally Posted by Job 34:19
    God is not partial to princes and does not favor the rich over the poor, for they are all the work of His hands.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quickened View Post
    Pride is always something that we will struggle with.
    Not me!!! I am so proud I am now humble!!
    ♪ Each day may Christ become clearer, His Cross dearer, Our Hope nearer. ♫

  7. #7
    Thanks guys! Of course I would never (at least not intentionally) avoid the opportunity to help someone else for fear of feeling prideful. Lately I have been making a point to pray with thanks for the opportunity and being enabled to NOTICE the opportunity to help someone else. I also regularly pray to not tire in doing good work and maintain my compassion... I work in an inner-city ER and sometimes everyone's fuses run a little short when the traumas are piling in and we are all out of stuff! I have noticed a big difference in my tolerance and response to adversity since I have been praying about it.

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