The Importance of Motive
1 Samuel 17:20-30
Our culture is action-oriented. Generally, when we see a problem, we plunge ahead with a solution. But before taking action, it would be wise to examine our motives. Not every good deed is prompted by a good motive.
When David arrived at the scene of Israel’s battle against the Philistines, he saw Goliath for the first time and heard the Philistine’s insults and mockery of the Israelites. Then someone told him about the rewards King Saul had promised to the man who would kill Goliath—great riches, the king’s daughter for a wife, and freedom from taxation.
Such a generous reward was certainly a great motivator, and it obviously piqued David’s interest. However, what ultimately propelled him onto the battlefield was the desire to defend God’s name: “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should taunt the armies of the living God?” (1 Sam. 17:26).
As maturing Christians, we must examine our motives for desiring victory in any battle we face. Too often we are seeking a selfish end, such as release from our discomfort and a return to an easier way of life. But God is more interested in molding us into Christlikeness than He is in keeping us comfortable.
Think about the last conflict you faced, or maybe the one you’re experiencing right now. Are God’s honor and your spiritual growth the focus of your desires? If not, then you are at odds with what He is trying to accomplish in your life. But if His will is more important to you than your own agenda, you can be certain that He will use the battle for your good and His glory.