Monday, March 09, 2009

Mixed Motives

As you know, I have been teaching that we all tend to misunderstand the most driving need in our heart. I tend to misunderstand my own need as “to have my contribution noticed and be respected because of it.” So, last night at church I wanted to give a quick review and then open the time for discussion. I wanted to give us each a chance to hear from one another…. “The false hope that most often calls my name is….”

I spent the entire time on the review. Why? Was it just poor planning on my part? Was it just that I let the discussion go too far before bringing us to the scripture? Or, does my fallen heart play a role?

One reason I spent the entire time on review is that I am genuinely excited that I am increasingly seeing this simple message on every page of Scripture. When I get excited about truth, I really want to share it. It’s a good thing to enthusiastically share what God has been showing me more and more clearly. But there may be another motive at work. Think with me about my personal risk / reward paradigm.

RISK: If I ask for others to talk and they talk about unrelated things, it proves that my teaching has not been clear. It proves that they are not being gripped by the point I am trying to drive home. I cannot possibly experience respect based on my contribution, if folks can’t even remember clearly what my contribution was !!!!! The risk is great.

REWARD: On the other hand, if I spend our entire time, reviewing again the basic ideas I want you to grasp, the potential reward is great. If I point it out again in another 3 or 4 passages, you might begin to notice (like I am) that this truth is on nearly every page of the scripture. You might even be impressed that I am pointing it out to you so clearly.

So, did I teach out of love for God, His truth, and you? Or did I teach out of self-protection and self-promotion? The answer, I think, is “yes.”

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