“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness…” Matthew 6:33a
Although I was very lazy throughout high school, once I entered my twenties I was forced to reckon with. I worked my butt off. I worked two jobs while paying my way through school. I was working out all the time. I was chasing my dreams of making it in some form of business. I was going to have a great love-life with a hot wife and a whole bunch of money and influence.
During this time of greed and sinfulness, God really captured my heart and turned me toward him. I have a hard time exactly pinning down the moment of my conversion but once I discovered the doctrines of grace and preaching my motivations have changed drastically. I no longer have the drive toward worldly success that once defined my life.
There are so many distractions trying to buy our attention. I think many of us can identify Facebook and countless hours on youtube as one of them. However, I would warn that to much time listening to motivational life couches and inspirational stories from successful people can be dangerous as well. I believe there are things we can certainly learn from successful people. I have learned great personal skills from the likes of former Navy Seal Commander Jocko Willink. I have been inspired by the work ethic of former MMA fighter and Army Ranger Tim Kennedy. Tim Ferris has helped me improve my speed reading. Ben Shapiro and Jordan Peterson have aided my views in politics and culture. Yet here is the underlining difference between Christians and the unsaved intellectual giants: Our motivation.
According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, after humans have acquired all that is essential to fulfilling their basic (food, shelter) and psychological (love, esteem) needs they long for self-actualization. That is to fulfill our personal potential. The desire to simply be as awesome as possible. This is the root of moralism. After watching endless self-help videos I can testify that this is the unashamed goal driving many today.
As a Christian, our motivation ought to be vastly different. The motivation of the Christian ought to be the glory of God manifested in whatever work he finds to do. Christians ought to see their lives as a means for God to display His glory. This encompasses all the Christian life. That means our work, family, hobbies, all these aspects of life for the Christian are to be done for the glory of God. God is also glorified in our willingness to step into mockery and hatred for His glory as well:
“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:11-12)
Notice how Christ says, “…blessed are you when others revile you…” That means that as a Christian it is impossible to live for the Kingdom of God and not experience the worlds reviling. We as Christians will not be considered heroes to the rest of society. No one is going to think you are awesome. People are not going to share your youtube videos if you say that your motivation is in the glorification of Jesus Christ. People naturally want to be the hero of their own story. If what drives you in life leaves no room for boasting the world will despise you. The world hates Christ and if your driving desire is to honor him they will hate you.
We must press onward. We must not lose the heart in seeking to live holy and upright lives for the glory of Christ. We must hold to the promises of God, that when we seek first His Kingdom then we are blessed. When we seek first to glorify Christ above all else. Then we are living for what is truly awesome. For the awesomeness of Christ far outranks the awesomeness of any man, whether they be a warrior, philosopher, entrepreneur, scientist, or king. The honor and glory of Christ must be in our foresight. Let us remain faithful to this task. Let us proclaim the gospel of the glorious Christ.
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