There are positive and negative motivators that all of us use on a regular basis. What gets you out of bed in the morning? What influences you to serve your family? Why do you go to work? Are you taking care of your body? All of these things take motivation so have you ever taken inventory of your motivational resources?
If you are relying on negative motivators it’s a dark and slippery path. It leads to exhaustion and heaviness that can rob you from peace and joy. Let me help you expose some of the ones that have influenced me personally. Read through these negative motivators to identify pitfalls that are detrimental in having a heart that is whole and at rest.
1) Guilt – you are made to feel guilty by others trying to control you. You have high expectations on yourself and you aren’t measuring up. Guilt is a toxic emotion, and when your heart feels guilty, it demands punishment. So you are actually inviting and attracting negativity to your life, because of this lie written on your heart. When you participate in ungodly activity and sin, guilt motivates you to repent – that is a good thing! But after receiving forgiveness, ongoing guilt is actually condemnation.
2) Shame – is like a garment that you wear that announces to the world that you are “not worthy”. Shame will motivate you to be alone, grovel in self-pity, and live a life substandard to the abundant life that God has called you to. When Jesus died for you, and took the punishment for your sins, He considered you “worth it”. His love for you has motivated him to take the fall for you.
3) Fear – is always paralyzing. It limits you and robs you from enjoying life and loving the people around you. Fear motivates you to control others, and attempt to control your circumstances. Perfect love expels all fear, and love and fear cannot co-exist. Receiving God’s love is a step of faith, and a giant leap away from fear.
4) Approval – Impressing others, being popular, desiring attention, feeling loved, pride, jealousy, and trying to prove ourselves. These are rooted in self-centeredness and the only way to combat that is by loving someone more than you love yourself, and knowing that God smiles at you and approves of you, so you are already completely accepted.
5) Punishment – feels good when you’ve been hurt, and you have a desire for that person or group to “pay” for what they did to you. This is a defense mechanism that you create that hardens your heart in hopes that you won’t be hurt again. In an effort to hurt others, the reality is you are only hurting yourself, and allowing that person and situation to continue to control you through the significance you place on the pain you have experienced.
Every single one of these can be associated to a heart condition simply identified with lack. It’s the same tactic Satan used to lie to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and it still entangles many of us today.
The perfect motivator is the same for every one of us.
“… an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus replied, “You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:35-40).
It really is all about love! Love should always be the motivator behind everything we do. Your present life represents the choices you have made in relation to what you have wanted. But now you want change in your life. You want the freedom that Jesus Christ as already paid for. These desires for change beg the question, “What do you need motivation for?” Do you need to love someone who is unlovable? Forgive someone who has hurt you? Do you need motivation to follow a new daily plan? Is it time to stop a destructive habit or addiction? Whatever it may be, today is the perfect day to willingly believe God – that what He says about you is true: You are 100% safe, 100% influential, 100% important, 100% approved, 100% accepted and 100% desirable and 100% satisfied in Him. You are loved, loved, loved, (a million times) LOVED.
Because you know you are loved, no negative motivators can rule your life. Everything is done from love.
Have a great Thursday!
Love Audrey and Bob