It's not what I have[.] It's what I have to give. A blog about resources--gaining, giving, and sharing.

17 December 2010

Audience and Motive Check

3:05 PM Posted by steve flores , , 2 comments
[Matthew 6:1-4] Regarding good deeds, I have to check my motives and audience. I think it’s rather easy to gravitate toward quick affirmation from others, make the approval of others the focus, and in the long run miss the goal because of selfishness. I’ve been guilty of it often and it’s a shame. From the outside looking in, one might presume nobility (or the motives blindingly obvious), but if I’ve made the focus more about me and less about pleasing God and others, inside is anything but noble. It’s shallow and I have to ask this question, “Why do I do that?”

Today, as I type this, my daughter, Dassah, is sixteen months old. There are a lot of things she does that make me smile and one of those things is her eating habits. Lately, it’s a struggle to have her sit in one place and eat what’s on her plate. As an observer, I’ve noticed and heard stories of other kids around her age who seem to have no problems eating – a human vacuum of sorts. Ours, on the other hand, it’s an uphill battle. Although, I do have to say, recently she has been eating better, with a little coaching. She eats a green bean, and then feeds me a green bean. Our little system seems to be working, for now. When I leave her to eat on her own, she gulps down a piece of food and then stares right at me, as to say, “Papi, Did you see that?! I did that for you.” I nod or voice my approval. She repeats the process until finally communicating, “Aww done” (all done).
Not only is food important for her life and growth, but, in that moment, Dassah’s not thinking about herself; she’s thinking about me. Her motives are pure, innocent, and completely selfless. I can’t say I’ve garnered that attitude in moments of service, but I do hope to be a little more like my daughter and ultimately like Jesus. Who am I trying to please anyway? I need to check my audience and my motives. Impatience and selfishness give me the immediate reward with temporary fulfillment. Patient, selfless acts of service, with God as my audience, gives me the reward I’m ultimately seeking…plus it’s eternal.