Bible Studies for Life lesson for April 18- The Right Motivation
April 7 2010 by A. Shane Nixon, Director of Church and Community Relations, Baptist Retirement Homes

Focal Passages: 2 Corinthians 5:9-21

The first time I ever walked behind a self-propelled push mower, I had a very good reason for doing so ... or so I thought. My grandfather had promised me, his aspiring six-year-old grandson, $3 if I would help him mow our neighbor’s yard. That was many years ago and the toys of a six year old were much smaller then than now. I concluded that $3 was just enough to make me a rich man. Visions of new baseballs, Matchbox cars, and ice cream cones danced in my head as I mowed that day. 

I was a good helper (at least that day) and we finished the rather large yard in what I was sure was record time. I had seen my grandfather collect his mowing money many times before.

He had quite the little side business mowing grass in our sleepy little town and part of the gig was to just sort of “hold out your hand” to be paid when you were done.

I anticipated him doing so now, and waited eagerly for such, knowing part of the palm greasing would trickle down. He never even went to the door.

This neighbor had been in the hospital and we were mowing the yard on this occasion because it was the right thing to do.

Our “motivation” was to help our neighbor. Well, truthfully, half of our partnership was doing it for the right reason.

The other half, my half, was in it for the three bucks.

A person’s motivation for doing something can often be as important as their actual doing of it. Paul makes the case that such is true of the followers of Christ. Paul argues that our sole motivation ought to be a desire to follow Christ, a desire to show His love. 

Self righteousness can never creep in. Material gain should not be a part. Even public acclaim should never be a reason to do the will of God. We ought to do things for people because of Christ’s love for us and His gift to us, His life sacrificed on the Cross for our sin. 

I got my $3 that day from my grandfather’s wallet. And I quickly gave it back. I wanted to be as right in my motivation as he was in his. I can’t remember, but I probably gave it back for the wrong reason too. I suspect, in retrospect, that I did so to make grandpa proud. 

At least in our Christian walk, doing it to make the Father proud is motivation enough!
4/7/2010 8:21:00 AM by A. Shane Nixon, Director of Church and Community Relations, Baptist Retirement Homes | with 0 comments

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