How Not to Go Wrong

Know Your Motives - Have the Best of Motives
Christianity has always been interested in "motives."
What are the reasons we have for doing what we do?
What is the desired outcome?
What is the driving passion behind what we do?

All the great theologians are agreed that THE ONE BEST MOTIVE (sometimes called The Greatest Good or Summun Bonum) is the honor and glory of God. C.S. Lewis called this the First Thing. He said, get the first thing first and all the second (and third and fourth) things will be rightly ordered. Get that First Thing wrong (usually by making a second thing the first things) then you lose every thing. For the best book on this, see David Naugle's wonderful, Reordered Love, Reordered Lives.

The Apostle Paul says it this way.
So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).

Jesus had this as his life purpose.
I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do (John 17:4).

The Westminster Shorter Catechism said:
The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever (Q & A 1).

Ignatius in his Spiritual Exercises said:
Man is created to praise, reverence and serve our Lord (Spiritual Exercises, annotation #23).

The BEST MOTIVE and the FIRST THING in all you do must be the glory of God. And God is glorified when what you do is to love, serve, worship and enjoy Him in everything you do. As this is your DEEP MOTIVATION ENERGY, then, this motive is blessed by God.

The wise Pascal reminds us that this is not a life that is bleak and gloomy, but rather the way to true pleasure and happiness.

Pascal quote on the greatest good

I am sure you know, as well as I do - how hard it is to have this Best Motive and First Thing. For we are so prone to self-centered motives and drives that are above all about our own ambitions. We so easily make choices that are for things God does not want, but which we justify simply because we want them. I have seen leaders make painfully bad decisions as they have a TRULY BAD Greatest Good driving them.

I have made my worst decisions out of fear, worry, anxiety, ambition, ego, etc. As soon as these factors enter into the "decision equation" then the only true BEST MOTIVE is no longer at work. Regular self awareness and frequent prayerfulness are essential for any of us to live, work, love and lead from places of good, pure, beautiful motivation.

Benjamin Warfield quote on the greatest good, the sake of ChristDrawing this post to a close, theologian Benjamin Warfield reminds us of Jesus, Paul, the Puritans and Ignatius on our Chief End and Greatest Good.

Warfield tells us it is always for "the sake of Christ."

So what's been driving you these days?

Good awareness and carful attention to your motives will be needed for you to "not go wrong."

Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International

BrianRice@lcileaders.org

LCI - helping you lead out of the Summun Bonum