Why we do what we do is often as important as what we do.
Key Scripture: Philippians 2:4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. (NKJV)
Last Sunday we discussed the fact that we were Born For Purpose.
Through the study of the scriptures we saw that God creates, equips and positions us for our greatest usefulness in His kingdom plan. Of course it is still up to us if we choose to participate or not, but God has included every person in His will and He has not forgotten nor forsaken even one.
You, yes even you, are perfectly and wonderfully made, just like you are, for a purpose and for His plan … our part is just to yield to His purpose and participate in His plan with every opportunity He gives.
This morning we are going to continue with this theme by taking a little examination of the soul to see if we can see behind the scenes in our own life and discern why we do what we do.
Why we do what we do is often as important as what we do.
Generally people do what they do for one of three reasons:
1. People do what they do for God
2. People do what they do for themselves
3. People do what they do for others
These are sometimes very difficult to discern between. For example we may think we are doing something for God or others when in fact we may actually be doing it for our own self.
What is the motivation for you to do what you do? You see …
The hidden motivation of the heart is a trigger that either: gives life or robs life; adds joy and fulfillment to our day or takes away joy and fulfillment from our day; increases energy or causes tiredness; spawns vision and productivity or stifles creativity.
When what God has created, equipped and positioned us to do becomes something we have no passion or heart to do then we may not need to stop doing it but examine why we are doing it and then adjust our motivation and continue on.
God has created us, equipped us and positioned us for purpose.
And you are most likely more in the will of God today than you give yourself credit for. And, it was your yesterdays that brought you here … and God knew it all the time!
Isaiah 46 (The Message)
9 Remember your history, your long and rich history. I am GOD, the only God you’ve had or ever will have—incomparable, irreplaceable—
10 From the very beginning telling you what the ending will be, All along letting you in on what is going to happen, Assuring you, ‘I’m in this for the long haul, I’ll do exactly what I set out to do’.
Reckon what other great adventures God has in store for you? Just you wait and see.
He has a purpose in making you just like you are, placing you just where you are and involving you in just what you are doing and going to do. He alone is God and only He knows the end from the beginning.
Remember our key scripture: Philippians 2:4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. (NKJV)
Hold that thought while we look at a parable Jesus used to teach us the importance of participating in God’s plan.
Luke 12 NKJV
15 And He said to them, "Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses."
16 Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: "The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully.
17 "And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’
18 "So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods.
19 ‘And I will say to my soul, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry."‘
20 "But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’
21 "So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."
There can be more than one reason why God blesses a person but one definite result of being blessed is to take the opportunity God has given us to bless others.
Genesis 12:2 I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing.
Blessing others is a part of our Abrahamic covenant responsibility.
In the book of Proverbs Solomon saw this truth and gave us the wisdom of this principle of life.
Proverbs 11 NKJV
26 ¶ The people will curse him who withholds grain, But blessing will be on the head of him who sells it.
God intends for us to enjoy the fruit of our labor: Ecclesiastes says that it is a gift from God. However, there is a responsibility which comes upon a person to whom the Lord blesses.
Luke 12 continues to say that to whom much is given, much is required … we take no thought only for ourselves …
What we do with what we have often reveals who we are and what we believe.
Why you do what you do often is determined by how you feel about yourself, your life, your past and how you see your future.
I have found two prevailing attitudes of life that often shape the motivation of people and determine why they do what they do.
Our attitudes of life are shaped either by our future or by our past.
Motivations and decisions come either from a dominant:
* Survivor Mentality - or a dominant -
* Thriver Mentality
Living life out of a ‘survivor mentality’ may achieve God’s desired results for the others as we are motivated to reach out and bless them, but it will not produce God’s best for us in our own life.
That is what Solomon meant when he said:
Proverbs 11 NKJV
24 ¶ There is one who scatters, yet increases more; And there is one who withholds more than is right, But it leads to poverty.
Survivors hold back more than they should … not only in money and blessings given to others but also in other areas of life.
Survivors withhold more than is necessary concerning agreements, affection, support, relationships, submission, love and forgiveness … at home, at work at play. They often won’t allow themselves to be vulnerable so they self protect and reserve a portion of life, thought, future, assets and commitments. They are independent and don’t want to lose control, they are calculating and protect what they see as in their own best interest and often give with a motivation to get.
Survivors are more affected, shaped and controlled by their past than their future. They attempt to protect their future by either avoiding or reliving the past, but they never fully deal with it. Fear of loss, failure, or being hurt often keeps them riding yesterday’s bus and repeating yesterday’s mistakes.
Thrivers on the other hand have a liberal, generous mentality which motivates them. They often open themselves up to be taken advantage of by giving others the advantage first, they give extra support, increased affection, they offer more to relationship than it demands … at home, work and play, they are givers. These people are great to be acquainted with because they always look for your need and try to meet it before you even ask.
Thrivers protect others and are quick to commit without reserve. They are interdependent and don’t mind others having their share. They often calculate to see how their decisions affect others interests and look at ways to get more so they can give more of their time, talents and treasury.
Thrivers are more forward, future minded, not allowing the past failures or successes to control the current decisions. They ride the bus of the future and believe in a better day ahead.
Survivors want to have others in their life, they just don’t want others to have them. Survivors often create dysfunctional relationships … the bottom line --- “it’s all about me”!
Thrivers however, are interdependent and place a high premium on making sure that others get what they want in life.
Survivors give to get while Thrivers live to give.
That’s what Solomon was describing when he penned:
Proverbs 11 NKJV
25 ¶ The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself.
What are you in life? A survivor or a thriver?
Why do you do what you do for God, for others, for yourself?
If you are living life out of a survivor mentality because of pain from the past or fear for the future, Jesus has a way to help you change.
He wants you to do more than survive … Jesus wants you to thrive. He came to give you life and life more abundantly. You are more than a conqueror through Christ Who loves you. You can do all things through Christ Who strengthens you. You are on your way to your greatest day and:
It begins this morning with prayer.
* A conscious and serious application to God for help.
Followed by a commitment to challenge each decision with an examination of why you are doing what you are doing.
* If it’s just to survive, challenge that attitude.
* If the why is not right, it may not mean you should not do it, but it may just mean you need to change the why before you do it.
God will help you and the Holy Spirit will be your Guide.
God never intended for His children to live a meager life of surviving in the wilderness. God had plans for His children to have dreams and visions of their future, a future so great and wonderful that it would seem impossible if not for the fact that they were Children of the Most High God! So …
Put a song in your mouth, faith in your heart and the Word of God in your mind and step into the abundant life God intended you to live.
Enjoy the peace that passes all understanding and the joy that is unspeakable and full of Glory! Give God a fair chance with your future! It begins today with prayer … won’t you stand.