Posted by: thebylog | April 13, 2005


I have commented in the past about the idea that perhaps selfishness is the GREAT MOTIVATOR inside all of us, that at the bottom of every one of our actions is self-interest. Well, maybe not. Maybe instead of selfishness being the GREAT MOTIVATOR, love is. Either love for yourself (selfishness) or love for others or love for God or love for a thing. It would make sense that what you do would be in the interest of that which you love. Is there anything you do that’s not done out of love for someone or something?

I sleep, perhaps, because I love myself, I want to feel good, and I want to be presentable to people the next morning. And maybe also because I want to fulfill God’s purpose for the next day with much fervor and gusto. I drive to school (back in the day) because I want to further my education, either because I want to lift myself up or I want to use the gifts God’s given me to further his kingdom in some way. I think if we dig deep enough, we can probably identify a love that motivates most any action.

Perhaps it still begs the question of what true God-love is. If it’s just so I can “go to heaven” or “avoid hell”, that’s pretty much self-interest. And even if it’s “to further his kingdom”, why do I want to do that? To obey God. Why do I want to do that? So I can go to heaven …



  1. I think that’s a good point. We do things for love(?) of self or love for God. If you really boil all of life down, you get either a life of selfishness or one that is devoted to God.

    What is our reason for loving God? He first loved us. Why should we want to go to heaven? Hopefully our reason is to see that person who gave himself so completely for our hopeless case!

  2. Love is a very complicated thing. It originated with God, and we will hardly comprehend it, I think, even in eternity. Scripture says even the angels look on with wonder as God’s plan of redemption unfolds. That helps me to overcome not always understanding it all.

    What about “true love” being our motivation for serving God? Can we not worship, obey, and work for God because we just simply love Him? “I love you God, and this is what You want me to do, so I’m gonna’ do it”.

    This is a rare type of love, I absolutely agree, in this world of selfishness. But God’s people can still serve Him out of true devotion I believe. Even if God were to offer no eternal paradise to His children, or some other blessing for that matter, are they not still under the obligation to give Him the honor that He deserves as their Creator?

    I’d love to hear back from you Byran, but I understand your schedule. Good luck with the choir.

  3. I honestly never gave it much thought before—This is GREAT FOOD for thought!!

  4. You bring out a great thought here. Motivation is the key to life and the thing that motivates us is indicitive of who we are.

    Self-preservation is a primary motivator. We want to live and most ‘normal’ people will go to great lengths to live. God has evidently placed in us a desire to live in this life when, as Christians, we know that to be with God in eternity is so much better, yet we spend and fight to live here.

    I think that you have hit the nail on the head with the thought of ‘love’ being the motivator, either as selfishly instigating the direction of our life, or selflessly allowing love to empower us to live for God because of His great love for us even while we were yet sinners.

    Jesus taught that love for God is to be so strong that all other love is to be seen as hate in comparison. We are to love God with all of our mind, soul, and body, and our neighbor as ourself. I have not reached that level yet, but I thank you for reminding me that my goal is to respond to the love of God that saved me as I live for Him and serve others and not serve myself. May God be with you as you serve Him.

  5. This using of “love” in a negative context makes me hesitate….is it really “love” if it’s something negative? Love comes from God, and perhaps Satan’s counterpart – the negative side of this – shouldn’t be called “love.”


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