Motivation for Service

“If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. 3-7 If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.”

People are fighting all types of causes in this world.  There are the fights against HIV/AIDS, Abortion Rights, Healthcare, Public Education, Gender Equality, Minimum Wage, and Tax Reform.  Advocates for the poor, church missions, and capital campaigns all done by people who have made great names for themselves.  But how many people have done so out of genuine love.

A friend of mine was upset because his name was not called.  Everyone on the committee received recognition but because he was absent his name was not called.  He wanted that praise; he wanted the accolade, but to now avail.  He was so rejected he no longer particpated in that philanthropic endeavor.  Was his heart in the right place?  If you were genuinely concerned about the poor, would lack of recognition cause you to withdraw your efforts?  I think not.

But one thing is certain, if you really want to know a person’s heart, don’t invite them to the celebration.  Exclude them from the applause.  Then, you will see where there heart is and you’ll know the real motive for their efforts.  Worldly praise and accolades are much ado about nothing.  This world is fickle, unkind, and sometimes harsh; but what you do for others when motivated by love trumps all the negativity you may encounter.  Learn to get your motivation from changed lives rather than awards and congratulatory acts by others.  Being a part of someone’s transformation has its own rewards; cherish those!

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