December 15, 2016

Wrong Motives

When it comes to budgeting big expenditures many government agencies anticipate coming in under budget. In some cases, they tell the public how they intend to spend any surplus funds; in other cases, the funds are not publicly accounted for unless someone asks. During a recent city meeting all the bids for replacing equipment came in under budget and it was stated that the unused funds go back into the Fleet Fund. The city manager then said, “That’s how we got money for the golf course [needs/equipment]. We loaned money from the Fleet Fund to the golf course.” Coming in under budget so you can divert surplus funds to pet projects is very disconcerting. Spiritually speaking James saw something similar being played out in the church, “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures” (James 4:1-3 NIV).

1 comment:

Steve Corey said...


-----Tom Clancy said, “The difference between reality and fiction is that reality doesn’t make sense.” I know. Jesus is the most real thing this world ever experienced, or will ever experience again. We know He makes complete and total sense, even though we don’t fully know the sense He makes; we just know He makes it. Yet the world’s scholars and muses and general wise guys agree that Jesus doesn’t make any sense. According to Tom Clancy, they’re right. According to the Word of God, we’re right. What does or doesn’t make sense depends upon the missing information.
-----Motives are like that, too. The actor presents on the exterior the motive that makes sense to his player. But the player doesn’t know the real motive nested inside. When the player plays out the exterior motive, he is really fulfilling the interior motive. Philosophers during the period of Enlightenment stirred up suspicion that good, generous, and godly people attended to the interests of others, not because they had any desire to actually please others or fulfill any particular needs of theirs, but because they want themselves to be good, generous, and godly people at best, or to be seen as such at least. Satan served the apple to Eve with the good sense of how wise and knowledgeable it would make her. Her being dead is what he wanted.
-----Desires don’t have logical attachments. Their attachers are not the substance of reason. They have relational attachers, therefore they can attach to anything the mind relates to itself, whether by logic or imagination. This is important to know, because at the end of every big, internal tussle between reason and desires, desire wins. Those times we’ve reasoned ourselves out of doing an evil we’ve desired weren't successful because reason won, they were successful because we’ve come to desire following good reason whether or not it relates to our desires. That desire is the key to godly performance.
-----”Behold, I long for thy precepts; in thy righteousness give me life!” (Ps 119:40) “A wise man’s heart inclines him toward the right, but a fool’s heart toward the left.” (Ecc 10:2) The wise man has learned to long for God’s righteousness by preferring desires corresponding to it. “He has showed you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8) Since desire is not reasonable, we step onto the path of seeking His righteousness by merely imagining the bliss of everything being actually right. When you think long enough about that condition to then realize that it is the condition in which we will forever live, the desire for it gets mighty strong and deep. Then we make each step on the path to God's righteousness by reasoning from God’s Word what is right about that step. The better we imagine the joys of His righteousness, the more we will reasonably seek it. The more we reason with the Word of God, the more we will find His righteousness rather than our own. It isn’t the nesting of motives that is wrong. It is the non-relation of the motives to God’s righteousness.
-----And that goes for government, as well. What do you think Jesus is going to do with the old "separation of church and state" malarchy when He gets back? Yes. And it'll go up like a flaming bramble, too. For the ulterior motive nested inside separation of church and state is the separation of state and God's righteousness.

Love you all,
Steve Corey