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Motive


Several months ago, I awoke to the sounds of two bickering boys. Jay and Trent were accusing each other of being mean to the other. Then, as expected, one of the boys approached our bedroom door ready to present his allegation of why the other one was being mean. Well, since I was still in a fog from having just woke up, I didn’t fully address it at that moment. Frankly, I am not a morning person and it was too early to be an adult. I managed somehow, to get them all (including the 2 year old) to calm down enough to go downstairs for breakfast. The bickering and side remarks were still going on. At some point, it became too much for me and I talked to them about how they were treating each other. I went on to explain how this is not how brothers should treat each other and asked them if they thought this pleased God. Of course, I get a resounding "No".

A few minutes pass by and I notice Jay is nowhere to be found. Lately, when he is upset about something he has been going upstairs and getting into his bed to think about what is making him sad and upset. So I was pretty sure that’s where he was. After a while, he comes downstairs with a note in his hand. In the note, he is apologizing to me and explaining that he was sad because he had been mean to Trent. It was a sweet little letter. I thanked him for it and reminded him to apologize to his brother as well. So he did. Well, not long after that, Jay comes over to me with one of his hourly hugs and I love you's (yes, hourly). Then, he says, in so many words, that he apologized because he really wants God to get him "that Nintendo Switch for Christmas".  And there it was, the real motive behind this "heart change" toward his brother.

Motivethe force behind why we do what we do. Why are we kind to some people and cruel to others? Why do we go or not go to church? Why do we give to some and not others? Whether we acknowledge it or not, there is always a reason behind our actions and/or inaction.

Let's consider the royal administrators of King Darius in Daniel 6. They did not like Daniel one bit. He had what they wanted and they needed a way to rid themselves of him. When they could find no wrong doing in regards to how Daniel conducted government affairs, they came up with an idea to trick King Darius. They pretended to honor him so that he would issue a decree that said anyone who prays to any god or human other than him within the next 30 days should be thrown in the lion's den. But when Daniel heard about this decree, he prayed three times a day just as he had done before. When the royal administrators saw this, they spoke to the King and reminded him of his decree. They told him about Daniel praying and King Darius had to put Daniel in the lion's den. But God, being who He is, saw to it that the lions did not touch Daniel. God proved Daniel's innocence. And because of their false accusation, the royal administrators and their families were thrown into the lion's den and were no more.  Although, the administrators tried to disguise their wickedness with kind words, their hearts were eventually exposed and the consequence was dire. Daniel's motive, however, was to please God. This resulted in glory being given to God and a prosperous life for Daniel during the reigns of King Darius and King Cyrus.

We should always be in a habit of asking ourselves what our motive is regarding anything that we do, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem. As parents, we must instruct our kids on the importance of doing things from a place of authenticity. Let's teach them that it's not enough to honor God with our mouths. We must honor him with our hearts above all else.

They have made up several times since this story.



Comments

  1. Amen! What a beautiful analogy you've made with Jay's motivation to quickly apologize and Daniel's story in being placed in the Lions den. Thank you for sharing your wisdom of parenting and the understanding of the Lord's WORD.
    May we forevermore bless, praise, and give Him the GLORY that He deserves. For the LORD is Worthy.

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