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What's My Motivation?

"Take care! Don't do your good deeds publicly, to be admired, for then you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. When you give a gift to a beggar, don't shout about it as the hypocrites do - blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you in all earnestness, they have received all the reward they will ever get. But when you do a kindness to someone, do it secretly - don't tell your left hand what your right hand is doing. And your Father who knows all secrets will reward you." Matthew 6: 1-4 (TLB)

Pamela Briese lives in Iowa. During an extended vacation with her husband, she received an alert on her cell phone from their home security system. Pamela checked the cameras and was surprised to see their son mowing the lawn. He is a busy law student, and they had not seen him much lately. Pamela was not sure he even knew they were on vacation. She quickly sent him a text message thanking him. He responded, "You can quit spying on me now. I forgot about the cameras. Now my surprise is spoiled."

This led Pamela to consider her own motivations for doing good deeds. She has always been active in church mission projects and philanthropic endeavors. Did she do them privately with the sole intent of helping others, or did she do them for public acknowledgment of her goodness? Her son's intended surprise was for the right reasons, and she was humbled by the lesson it taught her. God wants our motivation to be pure, sincere, and selfless. Even if our good deeds are known only to God and ourselves, when we know we care for others out of the love in our hearts, that is the only reward we need.

Prayer: Dear Lord, help us remain motivated by compassion and love for others and not our own desire for admiration and praise, in Jesus' name., Amen.

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