Most people know that using the wrong grade of petrol will shorten the life of the engine of the car. Will the wrong type of motivating forces destroy the human body? In this fast paced and competitive world we might not have the time to ponder on what actually motivates us. Have we asked ourselves if it makes a difference if we are motivated by pride, envy, greed and fear or love, justice, hope and charity? The earlier group of motivating forces are self-centred while the latter are people-centred.
Let us take a look at what the bible has to say about motivating forces that are self-centred. Luke 1:52, 14:11, Matthew 23:12, James 4:10 and 1 Peter 5:6 talk about humbling oneself so that God might lift one up. Pride is the root of all sins and eventually leads to one’s downfall. Matthew 4:10, 6:24 and Luke 16:13 say that one can’t at the same time serve both God and money. The Parable of the Rich Fool in Luke 12:13-21 also tells us that we should strive to store up treasures in heaven where no thief can steal and no moth destroys. Hence, we should not be greedy for earthly wealth which we cannot bring into the afterlife. Matthew 16:25-26 and John 12:25 tell us that whoever loves his life in this world will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Christ will find it. Luke 12:22-34 reminds us not to worry but to have complete trust in God. Hence, we should not be driven by fear but should trust that God will take care of our daily needs. Bad motivating forces can bring undue stress to the body. The effects of stress can result in all kinds of illnesses and diseases (please read the article on “Health and the Issues of the Heart” for more details).
Now let us discover what the bible says about motivating forces that are people-centred. 1 John 4:7-21 tells us about God’s love for us and that we should love God by loving one another. 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 explains what love is and how we should love one another. By loving God and our neighbour, we can tap on the unlimited power of God by being instruments of His blessings. Love and charity are powerful motivating forces that have the ability to change the world we live in for the better. Isaiah 30:18 and Romans 13 tell us that the Lord is a God of justice and we should strive to be righteous. Hence, we should serve God by upholding justice and the human dignity. In Romans 15:13 Paul calls upon the God of hope to fill the people with joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit they may abound in hope. Hence, hope in God and the grace of the Holy Spirit can help us endure all hardships and sufferings this world throws at us. If we have people-centred motivations, namely, love, justice, hope and charity, these can help us achieve great things for His glory and the common good. Our bodies will also be more relaxed and without stress-induced ailments.
In conclusion, we need to discern what motivates us in our decisions and behaviour. Wrong motivating forces could destroy our bodies and souls. Right motivating forces unites us with God and His people, enabling us to achieve what seems impossible to man for His glory and the good of mankind. This was how Christianity became the largest religion in the world with more than 2 billion followers.
To end off, I will like to share what US President Barack Obama said in his 2012 victory speech which mentioned Christian values, and made it so inspiring for those who listened to him. He said: “What makes America exceptional are the bonds that hold together the most diverse nation on earth. The belief that our destiny is shared; that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations. The freedom which so many Americans have fought for and died for come with responsibilities as well as rights. And among those are love and charity and duty and patriotism. That’s what makes America great.” and “I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting.”. He ended with: “And together with your help and God’s grace we will continue our journey forward and remind the world just why it is that we live in the greatest nation on Earth.”
Will you choose your decisions and behaviour based on Christian motivations of justice, love, hope and charity? The choice is yours.