Advent Reflection: What’s Your Motivation?


Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the sky, and so make a name for ourselves; otherwise we shall be scattered all over the earth.”                      Genesis 11:4

As you go through your day, think about why you choose to do the things you do. Is there something that you are doing to show up your siblings, to keep up with the Joneses, or to look good to your boss? Consider whether that is really where God wants you to devote your energy.


Going Deeper

Read Genesis 11:1-9.

Is God opposed to cities and towers? Is it wrong to build things? Not necessarily. The problem in the city of Babel is the people’s motivation. Their goal was not to follow God’s will, or to love their neighbors or care for their families. They wanted to make a name for themselves. They wanted to feel important. Don’t we all desire to be noticed, to be recognized for what we’ve accomplished?

It’s good to show gratitude to other people, to compliment people for the good things they’ve done. But if receiving that recognition becomes our motivation, it may lead us down the wrong path. For example, working overtime to provide for the needs of your family may be the right thing to do. Working overtime to impress your boss and get a promotion, or to buy your spouse a top-of-the-line SUV that will make the neighbors jealous may not be the right thing to do.

A good thing, done for the wrong reason, may not be the right thing.

Heavenly Father, give me singleness of purpose, to serve you and seek your will in all things. Steer me away from pride and self-promotion. May love for you and for your children guide all of my actions.

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