The sacrifice of an evil person is detestable,
especially when it is offered with wrong motives.
Proverbs 21:27 (NLT)
When we hear the question “What’s my motivation?!” we tend to think of some cheesy character in a television show obsessing about an acting role. It stems from the acting method which teaches actors to get below the surface of the lines in the script – the words that the character say, and to think about what is driving the character to think, act, and say certain things.
All joking and mocking of actors aside, I’ve actually found the question itself is quite pertinent to almost any situation in life. I find myself asking the question of myself all the time:
What’s my motivation here; Is is positive or negative?
Am I doing this selfishly or selflessly?
What is motivating my words right now; Am I building up or tearing down?
I also find the question useful in discerning the words and actions of others. If I am perplexed as to why a person would say this or that, I look for his or her motives. What is driving them? What is it they want? What are they hoping to accomplish?
I have found that when I take a moment to thoughtfully examine my motives before I act or speak, I save myself from doing and saying a lot of stupid, hurtful things that I would regret and would cause me more pain that it was worth. When I examine the motives of others and understand why they act and say the things they do, it often allows me to respond with grace rather then react with irritation.