top of page

Motives Matter

(The following is the March 30 devotional from my Next Step Devotions book. Before reading it, I suggest you read Luke 20 and pay close attention to verses 45-47.)

Motives matter. Even if the actions of two people appear identical to onlookers, motives matter for the people carrying out the acts and to God.

Some might argue that motives are irrelevant if the act itself is good. For example, donating a vanload of food to a homeless shelter is helpful. However, taking photos and videos to announce the good deed to others shows a more self-serving motive. The reactions we get from posting such images to social media may well be all the reward we receive.

Jesus condemned scribes for such attention-grabbing behavior. He called out their motive of doing things for show (v. 47). The scribes wanted glory for themselves rather than God. They sought it by wearing long robes, being seen and greeted in the marketplace, and sitting in the best seats at synagogues and banquets. Even their long prayers were performances to impress others, not humble petitions before a holy God.

Christians must not think too highly of themselves. We are not the objects of our faith – Christ is. We deserve no glory – Christ does. We are not children of the King because we earned it. We belong to Christ solely by his grace. We deserve death, yet Christ rescued and saved us to eternal life. Our goal is to point others to him, not to ourselves.

Hearts can be deceptive. We can convince ourselves we are acting with pure motives. However, we likely know when our reasons are less than pure. Perhaps we show kindness to someone because of what we hope to get in return. Maybe we donate to a cause for the recognition or attention doing so brings. You may think of other instances of questionable motives from your experience.

Next Step:

Can you recall when you acted with impure motives or sought recognition through an act of kindness? What can you do soon for the good of others and the glory of God without drawing attention to yourself?

207 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page