I was listening to some instruction on the difference between secular psychology's "Behavior Modification" and Biblical change of behavior. It was pointed out that the important difference is motive, and I couldn't agree more. However, a chart was drawn on a white board showing two motives. Behavior Mod's motive was portrayed as "pleasing self". The motive for biblical change was shown as "glorifying God".
So far, so good. But it occurs to me that there are at least two other motives that should be mentioned. One is bad, one is good.
First the bad. There is a common motive among believers that I often call performance-based Christianity. It says, "I will obey (even though I don't really want to) because otherwise God will withhold His love and favor. I will earn God's love and favor by this behavior." And if I do pretty well, I have a right to be proud. And if I don't "measure up", I'm discouraged. But I'm always measuring myself by "the yardstick" of performance.
A dreadful way to live, and all too common. The solution? BAMM! An explosion of again understanding the love of God for His children. Of understanding that my performance doesn't affect His love for me. He loves me when I obey, and He loves me when I don't. Because I'm His Beloved.
Well, then why bother obeying at all? If I'm "in good" with God either way, why torture myself with obedience at all?
Good question. And that leads to the highest motive of all. The motive of LIFE! It's what occurs when Galatians 2:20 is in operation. "It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives through me." When Christ is living His life through me, I can't help but follow Him, love Him, obey Him, glorify Him, experience Him, rejoice in Him, die for Him if need be.
That's why we want the fullness of His Spirit, and we want to walk according to the Spirit. That's why we want to spend time with Him, gaze on Him, meditate on Him and His Word, know Him better and better, and have a heart of surrender toward Him. That's when His Life is manifested in us. That's when He lives His life through me.
That's the motive of Life, the highest motive of all.
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