Ask any lawyer or judge if motives matter and I believe you will get a resounding YES. Motive is why we do what we do. It is what drives our decisions and our behaviors. It is like the underlying current that takes us down the path…right or wrong.
Why does it matter what your motives are? Ask yourself this:
- If someone told you they loved you just to get intimate with you, would it matter?
- If someone lied to you to get a job, would it matter?
- If someone did something for you just to get something THEY wanted, would it matter?
The list could go on and on, but you get the idea. It WOULD matter. We want people to be honest with us about who they are and what they are doing, don’t we? Well, it starts with me. I have to work on me, and you have to work on you, because (as we have all found out) we can’t change other people. We can only change ourselves, and sometimes even that that takes the hand of God to get our attention.
Our motives matter because it reveals our character. Why you do what you do tells people who you REALLY are, despite your actions and your words. Like it or not, motives seem to have a way of coming out eventually.
Ideal motives have these in common:
- They are unselfish.
- They are giving.
- They are kind.
- They are honest.
- They are pure.
- They are loving.
- They are patient.
- They are forgiving.
Next time you find yourself thinking about doing something for the wrong reason take a hard look in the mirror. Think twice before you take action. Is it worth the cost when you are found out? If you think before you act, you will save yourself a lot of grief and embarrassment. It might even save your marriage or your career.
Having the right heart and attitude will take you places where you are celebrated, not just tolerated. It will open doors that otherwise would be forever closed to you. Motives do matter as trust will rise and fall on them. Knowing your why is only half the story. Defining and refining it is what makes our why vital to our existence and the legacy we leave. You will never find your way if you don’t find your why.