What are you looking for? That is the question Jesus asked His disciples in John Chapter 1. In other words, He asked, “What are you looking for in life? What is motivating you to do what you do?”This is a tough question, but it is a question we should ask ourselves periodically. Today, I want to examine this question and discuss why it is so important to our lives and ministries.
In John 1:38-39, the disciples asked Jesus, “’Rabbi (which means Teacher), where are you staying?’ And he said to them, ‘Come and see.’” The disciples came to see where He was staying and spent time with Jesus that day. Jesus then asked them what they were seeking. This is an important question Jesus asked and a question that we need to ask ourselves frequently. What is it that we really want? What do our hearts really desire in this life? What brings us passion? These questions will determine how we live our lives as well as influence the motivation we have to accomplish significant things for the Kingdom of God.
We all have personal ambitions, desires, likes, and dislikes, but when the answers to the questions above are mostly rooted in selfish motivation, we can struggle as Christians. Our world is crazy; there all kinds of stresses and strains. Everything is constantly changing. We deal with issues involving the pandemic, the economy, social injustices, job losses, and even disruptions to normal life. These problems not only create stress and cause feelings of discouragement but also make us want to quit and escape our circumstances. These difficulties are not only in the secular world; they are also prevalent in the church.
Attempting to escape these circumstances seems like the quick way out of things. We often believe that the grass is greener on the other side; and if we can change jobs or change churches or change locations, those tough things will go away. It seems easy to make a change, but it seems very difficult to conquer our problems, push through the difficulties, and finish strong.
It’s important to realize that the grass is rarely greener on the other side. In fact, the same issues that we struggle with on one side of the fence often follow us to the other side. I’m not saying that transitions and changes in life are not necessary; we need to make changes occasionally, but if the issues are rooted within us and we’re discontent within our own minds and hearts, the problems won’t go away simply because we change our circumstances. The issues within us will stay with us.
One of the biggest issues I see in people who want to continually chase something better than their current circumstances is the absence of understanding why they want to initiate the change. They don’t know why they are exhausted from their current situation or why they don’t have any energy or motivation to persist in the routines or struggles of life. They have a hard time figuring out what motivates them to get up every morning and do the things they normally do. They have no idea what can help them in difficult circumstances or what they are truly looking for in life.
It’s important to recognize that we all have different passions, desires, and callings; we are not all the same. Some people love art while others love business and finance. Some love to have fun and bring joy and laughter everywhere they go. Some people love to analyze and figure things out while others like organization and structure. In this post, I want to discuss the motivation behind what people have passion for. I want to help uncover the underlying motivation that gives a person the energy to do the things they love to do when life gets hard.
The important question is whether your motivation is self-serving or rooted in the desire to serve God and others. This is what I’m really asking when I say, “What are you looking for in life?” If you want to be a great leader and disciple of Christ, you must go beyond your personal incentives and discover what will sustain your motivation for years to come. For a Christian, that motivation should come from loving Christ and serving others. 1 Peter 4:2 says, “That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.” Even if you work in a secular job and spend most of your time serving a secular business, you must be motivated by the will of God so that you can dedicate your time to pursuing the mission of Christ and serving others. You can do this in whatever setting you are in.
I want to ask you again, “What are you looking for in life?” Your motivation shouldn’t be about money, position, power, or influence. Your motivation must be about the mission of Christ and serving others. This is the only way to sustain your motivation as a Christian.
As a Christian, you probably play some role in your local church. However, if you don’t have the mission of Christ as your motivation, you will not last in your ministry. You will burn out; and another opportunity will distract you, or a hardship will derail your ability to serve.
It is important to determine what you are looking for in life and the reason for your motivation. Honestly, the answer to this question is never really complete. We must learn to settle this answer regularly in our hearts. That’s why Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:31, “. . . I die daily.” Paul understood the need to stay grounded to Christ and His mission on a daily basis. Doing this kept Paul’s motivation in the right place and helped him look for the right thing in life.
In conclusion, I want you to evaluate yourself with a couple of questions that will hopefully inspire you to stay motivated and grounded to the mission of Christ.
1. Do you have balance in your fear of failure?
I covered this topic in my last post. Not having enough fear of failure means that you may not be doing all you can do for the Kingdom of God. An inadequate fear of failure can leave you unmotivated to work hard. Having too much fear of failure can easily stall your progress and leave you feeling scared to do big things for Jesus. It’s important to work on finding a balance in your fear of failure in order to stay motivated and grounded to the mission of Christ.
2. Are you focused on deepening your character or growing your influence?
There’s really no way a person can sustain increased influence, a large platform, or elevated responsibility without deepening and growing his or her character and developing the fruit of the Spirit in their life. If you focus on deepening your character, your influence will grow naturally. Developed character shows that you are grounded to the mission of Christ.
3. Are you using your influence to grow others?
If your motivation isn’t grounded in Christ, you will prioritize getting what you want at the expense of others. If you’re truly focused on the mission of Christ and serving others, however, you’ll use your influence to help develop others as you accomplish your God-given vision. Helping others is a large part of the mission of Christ.
Knowing what you are looking for in life is something that you must regularly evaluate in order to properly assess your motivations in life. It’s important that we all stay grounded to the mindset of pursuing the mission of Christ and serving others.
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