What is your “motive” in life?

October 11, 2011 — 3 Comments

I love watching legal dramas, especially in movies.  Most arguments by the defense come down to proving one thing, a person’s motive.

Motive: Noun. Meaning: 1.  Something that causes a person to act in a certain way, do a certain thing, etc.; incentive

A case rests on proving a defendant’s motive to commit a crime.  It is hard sometimes to prove in a court of law but the drama of understanding someone’s emotions leading into actions is powerful to watch unfold.  Whether it is A Few Good Men, A Time To Kill, or To Kill A Mockingbird, motive is all that matters in court.

And as in life…

Motive is all about the “reason” we do what we do, positively or negatively.

I hadn’t really thought about what this meant to me until reading this passage.

“All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the Lord.” Proverbs 16:2 (emphasis added)

It made me more aware that I can’t fool God.  I can fool others and even myself but ultimately God knows what I am really up to whether good or bad.

Am I really giving “decisions” in life to the Lord?  What is my motive for the way I treated that person at work today?  What is my motive for asking someone to help me do something?  Did I say something about myself that gave the listeners a better view of me?  Did I tell the joke just so people would laugh and think I’m a funny guy?  Why?  Well, every day my motive is in question.

I am a phony, poser, fake, etc. until I come to terms with this.

Ask yourself the hard questions about the motive behind why you do what you do.  

Give permission to your trusted friends to question your motive if they don’t already.
Don’t fool yourself because God knows what is truly in your heart.

The good news in Proverbs comes in the next verse.

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” Proverbs 16:3

My challenge is to go to God with my motive to truly understand it.  If you don’t completely understand it, pray.  By trying to understand it, I give it to Him.  Ultimately God will lead me on the path that He desires.  His path is greater than mine.  His story is bigger than mine.

I have learned that God brings out the best in us when we give our motive to him. 

Give it to Him and may your “motive” be genuine, honorable, and committed to the Lord.  His plans will be yours and they will be great.

3 responses to What is your “motive” in life?


    Thanks Dave. This is a great point and thought provoker. What you highlight here is to me is one of the ultimate litmus tests concerning our relationship with God. Am I glorifying Him every day by the things that I say and do or am I letting pride, selfishness, and a myriad of other failings be all or part of my motive and thus, get in the way? Directing one’s motives in a Godly direction is a daily battle but one that is critiical to wage.


      Ed, you are right on. It really hit me this morning and this was a spontaneous post because I think I felt convicted more than anything. I love you part…”Directing one’s motives in a Godly direction is a daily battle but one that is critiical to wage.” A daily battle indeed!


    Thanks for writing such a good lines , but i have some questions if my motives are genuine,honorable & committed like you said “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.”. How will God give me signals that what path should i choose. What should i do now after committing motive to God

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