Matt Borja

Correcting Our Motives

And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

Question: Have you ever considered why you do what you do and have you considered whether that is tied to a purpose that you should own; or just some selfish, prideful reason?

Here in Colossians 3:23-24, we see God once again give attention to not just what is being done, but how.

And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily...

Unless it's just an excercise of being given the benefit of the doubt, prudent and wise people don't generally accept who you are by what you claim (cf. Proverbs 20:6), but rather by what overflows from your heart (cf. Luke 6:45, 1 Corinthians 8:3) and your track record (cf. Luke 16:10). It follows that the life you lead will be shaped by and exemplify what you've made important to you, and, according to the Bible, it will be pretty easy to observe.

So, is your heart in it? You might say, "Well, not really, and if I was being completely honest, I would have to say I really loathe it. Worse still, I'm stuck in this situation and have no exit strategy."

If it's any consolation, I can tell you that I've been there myself. In most cases, this is debilitating because at the center of it is not Christ, but rather someone we've taken issue with. Now that person or persons become our motive for why we are left discouraged and disappointed. Now they facilitate our fear and distrust. They have become our stumblingblock (read "objective") and when we see that God is not on our side in removing that stumblingblock, well, we quit.

How do we fix this? Well, sort of like the Bowline knot, as heavy of a burden this issue is, it's fairly simple to untie. We just need to apply a slight correction to the motives behind "whatsoever we do" and the whole thing becomes easy to unravel.

as to the Lord, and not unto men...

Simply put, if the reason for what you're doing is to:

  • impress someone else,
  • correct someone else,
  • disparage someone else,
  • obstruct someone else,
  • outpace someone else,
  • disprove someone else,
  • discredit someone else, or
  • do anything because of someone else or even yourself

...well then, don't expect God to be onboard with your agenda.

If you want God to intervene, you will need to be in complete submission to His will for your life so as to confess, "Lord, I surrender to your will in this matter. Please guide and direct; grant me wisdom and let my life honor and glorify you in everything that is said and done. Have your will and way and do the work through me." You need to do it for Him and Him alone. He is your objective, not that other person (cf. Ephesians 6:12).

What of it then? We're to just lay down and die then? Turn over everything to God just because His ways are better; His way are higher? Well, if you choose to look at that way, sure. I can tell you this much, though: there is always more going on behind the scenes than what meets our intellectual reasoning, and that is a universal fact.

Alternatively, you could choose to seek the mind of God in the matter because He give us this promise:

Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance...

This is a sustainable promise that you can cling to it because it is affirmed in the character of God's named identity:

for ye serve the Lord Christ.