Why we do what we do matters as much as what we do <3


As I have been working around the house this morning and praying about what to drop here for anyone who stops by, it occurred to me that I should check one of the many notebooks where I have captured ideas. 

I had to laugh when I opened one laying right by my desk and the first page is headed with these words:

“Ideas and Notes Jotted (how many places have I done this????)”

The short answer? A LOT

There are thoughts and starts to a zillion posts on the backs of receipts, in journals and notebooks, on index cards and bank deposit slips alllll over this messy office. 

So here is the one I am grabbing to share today. 

Is it possible the equation: Good Works = Loved and Blessed can create a Pavlov effect for us?

Does our good reputation, good behavior that reaps good things become the thing that motivates and drives us to obedience?

What happens, then, when we do good and hit a brick wall?

What happens when we do what is right and yet are misunderstood or run afoul in a relationship or don’t get recognized? Or when life dumps a pile of not so “loved and blessed” circumstances on us and we question what we did wrong or even at times, why did we even bother trying?

Perhaps God allows us seasons of a string of not FEELING loved and blessed to remind us that our good works really do not earn us anything.

Maybe He lets us encounter negative returns on our good work investments to help us understand that our own righteousness, in the words of the prophet, are like filthy rags. (Isaiah 64:6)

But that does not mean our good works are without value.

Our obedience and the resulting behaviors that promote the goodness of our God should be done out of love, regardless of reward. 

Love for God and love for others motivates us to continue to serve and honor and glorify God.

As we see when raising our children, doing what is good and right often does make life easier for us (and others), but even when troubles come; we press on and remain faithful. 

It is a pleasant thing to have a good reputation and to behave in ways that bring blessing to others, but our motivation for doing good is not to earn anything. It is out of gratitude for all we have been given that we did not deserve <3

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