Daily Dose, Aug. 25 — Who Am I?

    Am I now seeking human approval, or God’s approval? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still pleasing people, I would not be a servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:10) I remember a long time ago learning two important words that have to do with motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic. The former describes motivation that comes from within us that doesn’t need any reinforcing from the outside. The latter involves motivation that comes from outside of us and provides reinforcement from some type of material or emotional reward. For me, it’s a mixture of the two. Sometimes I can accomplish something simply because it needs to be done or it’s the right thing to do; other times, I’ll do something because of the reward that follows. What is it that motivates you? There are lots of options, but they pretty much all fall in one of those two categories. For many of us, we’re shaped by lots of extrinsic motivations. We find that, whether we like it or not, we are shaped by forces -- and people -- outside of ourselves. Maybe we really want them to like and accept us. Maybe we fear rejection. Maybe we’re scared to be who we know we should be. We let the views and opinions of others shape us, and when we do, they oftentimes shape us AWAY from God’s desires for us. We find ourselves bending and changing to meet the wishes of people rather than remaining malleable to the molding and shaping work of Christ. We adjust to the spirits of judgment, condemnation, and rejection and become hardened to any adjustment toward the Holy Spirit. God’s desire for us is to be motivated by pleasing him and by becoming more like Jesus. Sometimes this will bring approval from others around us; at other times, it won’t. Who are you living to please? Do I seek the approval of men first, or of God? Who am I? I’m kind of a mixed bag of motivation if I’m honest. But God’s not finished with me yet. Who are you? -- Rev. Brad Greene