Faith and Acting: They’re Both About Our Motives

Ah Wilderness Rehearsal[Believers] should be obedient, always ready to do what is good. Titus 3:1b

[God] saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. Titus 3:5 (NLT) [emphasis added]

In acting you learn to study a character’s motivation:

  • “Why does my character say this?”
  • “What is driving my character to do this?”
  • “What is it that my character wants when he walks over here?”

Motivation is also critical in understanding our real life and relationships. It is essential, I believe and have discovered, in understanding my relationship with God.

I believe one of the most important lessons we can know about God’s Message to us is this: Entering a relationship with God, attaining eternal life, and receiving forgiveness for our tragic choices and mistakes cannot be earned through “doing good” or “living a good life.” It comes as a gift through what Jesus did when he suffered, died, and rose from the dead. All we do is humbly acknowledge it, receive the gift, and ask Him to come into our life.

For me, it was a simple conversation with God I quietly had in my head and heart in which I said, “God, I know I’ve blown it a million different ways. I need you. I believe that you died for me, and I want you to in my heart and life. I give my life over to you.” Once I took this step and received the Gift, I was inspired and motivated to do good works in response to this extravagant gift of Life I had been given.

The critical differentiation is in the motivation of the good that we do. We do good, not out of a motivation to earn God’s favor or stack the spiritual ledger in our favor with the hope that it might be enough to get us into heaven. Our motive for doing good is overflowing gratitude for the Gift we have been freely given through God’s kindness and mercy.

As with acting, if you don’t get the motivation right then our faith is only a poor attempt at going through the motions.

7 thoughts on “Faith and Acting: They’re Both About Our Motives”

  1. 5 he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.[a]

    The motherload of the Message, right? Thank you Jesus!

  2. Great question, Marty. What a wonderful conversation to be had here. My quick response to your question is simply: Love. But, that is only the beginning of the conversation, yes?

  3. Thanks for the post, Tom. I agree that gratitude for His grace is our motive for good. I also believe that deeds reveal character – both in humans and in God. We learn about a person by what they do, not who they say they are. If their actions prove a certain character quality and they rightly describe themselves in that way, then perhaps later we can believe what they say about themselves – in so much as what they do backs that up. This is perfectly the case for God, Who always says about Himself Who He really is. And His actions always testify and bare proof to His perfect character. In other words, Deeds reveal Character – and perfectly so in God’s case. So, my question for you is this, “What is God’s motivation for His action?”

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