I was reading this morning in Proverbs 16: 2, People may think all their ways are pure but motives are weighed by the Lord. That struck me personally in thinking, what are my motives in giving and doing everything that I’m doing this season? That’s so hard. We think that we have good motives in doing good for others, but do we really? Where is our heart, and why are we really doing it?
In picking out gifts for different family and friends I find that I have different motives. I think, oh she’ll really like me if I get that, or that’s just enough to satisfy the requirement of a gift, or is this enough for this person, maybe I should do more so I won’t be thought of as a cheapskate.
It’s so hard to know what our motives are. I guess one way that we can look at our motives are to get an idea of that person’s Love Language? If they are one that values a gift they want to just know that you thought of them and went to the trouble of getting them a gift. If they are one that values service, they think of the time you spent in getting or making the gift especially for them. If it’s a gift of time, then did you make the time with them, just giving them a gift won’t give them the warm fuzzy feeling they want to be with you to open it and experience it with you. Or is it the gift of words of affirmation, does it build them up and make them feel important, maybe they need a special card more than the gift or a gift that shows how special they are. The main point is to give the gift in love.
But there may be some other motives, maybe you are trying to make a statement or showing you are doing your duty as a good wife or husband. Why do you need to do that? Are you feeling guilty in some way that you need to make up for all the bad points or things that you have done in the past?
Rather than self-evaluate, I think we need to keep our hearts in the right place. We have to keep our relationship with our Savior current and strong so that we can have the motives that are good. I like the last part of the verse where it says “but motives are weighted by the Lord”. He will do it for us. If we strive to have a relationship with him, I believe he will keep our motives straight. We have to keep our eyes focused on him rather than others so that our motives are pure. Even when we doubt our motives but we confess it to Him I believe that He will work it for good if we really love Him.
I hope this Christmas your eyes are on Him rather than trying to please everyone else. God is love and he will fill us with love and love gives love.