Proverbs 16:2 – All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the LORD.
Why do we do the things we do?
For self-satisfaction or the praise of men?
Maybe it’s the rush you feel as you do it.
Or for giving God glory?
If you have low self-esteem like I do, then your motivation may be always looking for ways to please others. We need that, “Atta Boy!” Or at least a smile after we’ve turned in a project at work.
But if we live life seeking other’s attention and praise, I’m afraid we can become very discouraged. And this is the wrong kind of motivation.
Find something you like to do. Then enjoy doing it. Maybe you’re writing a book and want it to touch other people’s lives, but you don’t have the courage to try sending it to a publisher for review.
Will we fold up on the inside and decide to not care about life anymore when we get our book manuscript sent back denied without a reason why? Or when you submit a project at work your boss rejects it and tells you to start over will we just give up? In both examples there wasn’t the right motive.
Sometimes we have to find our motivation in what we do. If we know why we are doing something and we are doing it for the right reason, it can help keep us motivated no matter what the outcome is. Thriveglobal.com in their article, “Examine Your Real Motives: Are Your Motives Aligned with Your Values and Actions?” we can learn how to discover our real motivation. Motives are the underlying reasons for the actions we take the words we say. There are several methods in the article of how to tell your motives. One of them is to ask “why?” five times. It takes courage to examine yourself and your motivation. It may take less than five times to ask yourself what your motives are, but it can also take more. Often our motivation is buried deep inside of us. If you find out, you have the wrong motive then turn it around and search for a right motive such as to uplift the human condition. This means that what I’m doing isn’t just to benefit myself but to also benefit others.
We can try to fool ourselves into thinking that our motives are pure, but God will be able to tell. He wants us to put others before ourselves and find ways to help others by what we do. This can seem like an impossible task if for years we’ve been doing our “own thing”. But once we’ve checked one motive it will be easier to check our motivation in the future.
Hebrews 12:1 – Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
We’re driving down the road of life when
Someone runs into us from behind. It’s those memories of the past that keep chasing us down.
Someone who’s right in front of us stops his car and keeps us from believing we have a future.
This moment causes us to leave the path set out before us and we simply turn off the car.
But then another car pulls up beside us. The driver gets out of his car, opens the passenger side of the car, and invites us to come in.
That driver’s name is hopefulness. And he’s come to drive us off the road of hopelessness by giving us a hopeful chance to return to the road set before us even if everything seems bleak around us.
Ideas.ted.com in their article, “How to be more Hopeful,” we get a glimpse inside ways to turn your hopelessness into hopefulness. Their ideas include shifting your expectations. When you wake up in the morning don’t focus on thinking it’s going to be another blah day. You will help make a self-fulfilling prophesy about your day. Instead, think of a few brief pleasurable moments that you can reach. Small steps. Also, realize you can change your life at any point. There are possibilities that exist for you at any stage of your life no matter how old you are. Have a dream in the back of your mind? Taking a small step toward that dream can lift off the negative hopelessness and turn it into hopefulness.
So, let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. If you don’t feel like you have a race ahead of you, create one. Imagine in detail of how your race would look like and take small steps toward it. Perseverance is the key if you want to move off that hopeless road and drive toward hopefulness.
Matthew 6:27 – Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
Depression and worry keep you from engaging with life because you have a constant state of preoccupation with your fears.
You’re always thinking
You’re in a constant state of adrenaline rush chasing you in a race you can’t win.
What you must do is stop. Stop that depressive and anxious thought right at the moment it begins. If you don’t, the thoughts will take away all of your energy and keep you from doing the things you need to do.
“But my fears are real,” you say. “It really could happen. I could end up out of control.” But you were never really in control before you felt depressed and worried about life. We all think that we can control our life. But no one can.
And through it all, while you’re busy stuck in fear and depression, life keeps rolling by without you.
In psychologytoday.com’s article, “Withdrawn and Inactivity Feed Depression,” some suggestions on how withdrawl and inactivity can feed depression which can keep you from engaging with life are set small goals. Large goals can seem too far out of reach so start small and set yourself up for small wins. Another suggestion is to develop awareness about your choices. If you’re able to, try to develop an awareness of your choices and where they lead. For more of their ideas read the whole article. Even setting yourself the goal of reading someone’s ideas on depression and worry can keep you engaged with life.
Starting out with small decisions can help you take that next step in your day and then another step. All of a sudden you will see that you met your first small goal helping you engage with life again.
Proverbs 29:22 – An angry person stirs up conflict, and a hot-tempered person commits many sins.
Do you ever feel like you’re walking on eggshells?
You know the people I’m talking about. Angry people. You don’t really want to be around them but they’re related to you so you have to deal with it.
But why do we have to be the ones that
are overly considerate
seek out peace no matter what the cost?
But it’s just there. It’s a real shame. But its’ there.
Dealing with angry people is sticky. You don’t want to say the wrong thing and set them off. The angry person may think that it’s always our fault if we get into a fight with them. Even going so far as to say that they believe we’re at fault for everything wrong in their life.
So how do we deal with angry people and stop walking on eggshells?
Depressionalliance.org discusses signs that you may be in an emotionally unstable relationship and makes suggestions on how to deal with the angry person in their article, "Walking on Eggshells: Signs You Are and How to Stop." Here are some of the signs of an unstable relationship: use of humiliation and sarcasm, impulsivity, excessive self-monitoring, meaning you monitor and adapt your actions constantly.
The article makes suggestions on how to help the person on the receiving end of anger such as self-care. You might need to focus on yourself first and learn to set some boundaries which may include finding ways to detach in situations where you know it is not your fault. These are just some of the ways to help a person who has an angry person in their life to stop feeling like you always have to walk on eggshells.
Notice in the Bible verse above it says that it is the angry person who is the one stirring up conflict and the one who sins because they are hot-tempered. It doesn’t say that the one who is on the receiving end of the anger is at fault. It may be difficult when you feel you must walk on eggshells but try to pull back and not let yourself be sucked into thinking that the other person’s angry response is your fault, because it isn’t.
Colossians 3:12 – Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Whether good or bad you’re going to be an example to those around you. What do you want others to see in you? Is it an overly needy person who wants attention? Is it the angry person that cuts others down in an effort to make themselves feel better? Is it the person who cares more about what the other person is feeling than to talk about themselves? Take care with what you say. It may be difficult to speak kindly to others sometimes but doing so reaps a rich relationship where your friends truly feel that you care. And God will see your efforts and honor you as you reach out and show others kindness and compassion.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.