Is any motivation good motivation? If someone is motivated to perform out of the spirit of competition, the desire for glory or position, or just plain a plain ole desire for control, power or money is that motivation good? Does any driving force qualify as a “good” or “right” driving force? I’ve heard that so long as the fruit is good then it doesn’t matter. I would question if that fruit is lasting fruit.
I’ve been contemplating this question because I feel that doing the right thing for the wrong reason is still wrong. As I always, I take it to the authority on such matters…the Bible. These scriptures are from the Message Bible.
A bad motive can’t achieve a good end; double-talk brings you double trouble.
We justify our actions by appearances; God examines our motives.
Mixed motives twist life into tangles; pure motives take you straight down the road.
It’s true that some here preach Christ because with me out of the way, they think they’ll step right into the spotlight. But the others do it with the best heart in the world. One group is motivated by pure love, knowing that I (Paul) am here defending the Message, wanting to help. The others, now that I’m out of the picture, are merely greedy, hoping to get something out of it for themselves. Their motives are bad. They see me as their competition, and so the worse it goes for me, the better—they think—for them. So how am I to respond? I’ve decided that I really don’t care about their motives, whether mixed, bad, or indifferent. Every time one of them opens his mouth, Christ is proclaimed, so I just cheer them on!
So Paul said he didn’t care about motives as long as Christ is proclaimed. Interesting. As Proverbs says, if your motives are off you will get off course. If your motives are off then you cannot achieve a good end. And God examines our motives; our hearts.
So why do you do what you do?