Fuel for your actions
What drives your actions? Why do you do things for others? Think about this for a bit.
When no one can see you, will you still pick up the piece of paper on the ground? There where no one sees you, will you still pick that poor neglected being and live Jesus’ love? When you’re running all over the place and have no time to spare, will you stop and pick up a wretched soul and help him or her across the busy street of life?
When we have the wrong motive for helping people, we will not help others when we are alone. That is probably obvious. Ourselves and our own honour should not be what drives our good deeds. As Paul and his friends said: 6Even though we had some standing as Christ’s apostles, we never threw our weight around or tried to come across as important, with you or anyone else.
If we do things just so that other people can give us recognition for it, we’ll soon realise that it doesn’t work that way. Other people will disappoint us very quickly. They’ll forget to thank us. They’ll forget to give recognition and expect us to help again and again. A privilege soon turns into a right and misunderstandings quickly develop because our initial intentions were not that honourable to begin with.
As a result, our fuel to do good runs out and the world remains unchanged and the need grows and grows. People should never be our point of departure or motivation to do good.
Gratitude must be the reason. The fact that Jesus was prepared to take the punishment for our sin must fill me to the brim with gratitude. So much gratitude that I have no choice but to overflow. This kind of gratitude must be the fuel for my good deeds.
Then I will never be disappointed when people do not say thank you for all that I do. When people then turn a privilege into a right, I won’t be wondering if I should continue making a difference in their lives. I won’t lose speed when I do good and people don’t appreciate it, because I’m not doing it for their appreciation – I’m doing it for Jesus. I’m doing it out of gratitude for what He has done for me, because they deserve grace as little as I did.
6Even though we had some standing as Christ’s apostles, we never threw our weight around or tried to come across as important, with you or anyone else.
May this be true of all of us. May we get to heaven one day and may God then say to us: “Well done. Well done, my child. Out of gratitude you made a huge difference.”
Our recognition comes in the hereafter.
Then life like that. Do your thing not for recognition from other people, but from God.
Do you do good deeds?
What motivates you?
Whose recognition is important to you?
Lord, when we study our hearts, we realise that we often do things to receive honour from other people. We admit that this is not right. Please forgive us for this. Please help us, Lord, to be motivated by gratitude to do good to others everywhere we go, because You are so good to us. Amen.