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Christian Motivation: An Interview with Lydia Borengasser

“Put others first.” “You think too highly of yourself.” “You’re selfish.”

If you hear these ideas enough, they can take over your understanding of morality.

What should our motivation be? Why care about doing the right thing?

I recently interviewed a writer named Lydia Borengasser. We found common ground on the controversial topic of Christian motivation.

Self Interest in Psalm 23

My Self-Interest (in purple)

God’s Self-Interest (in red)

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

Survey Results Pt. 3 “What Does Good Mean?”

Today I continue to look at the answers various friends gave when I asked, “What does good mean?”

Answer #2. Good means being loving and considerate toward other people.

A Flowchart of Self-Interest

Why do you follow God?

At foundation, the proper motivation is self-interest. Many don’t want to believe this. How do you convince them?

Keep asking “why?” 

If there is an answer at all to the question of “why?” it must be a reason and it must be a reason for that person. If you can convince a person to keep asking why, he will keep getting closer to the inevitable answer of self-interest.

Rational Self-Interest and the Worship of God

I advocate an unusual approach to these topics based what I see as a foundational principle in Scripture: Holy Self-Interest.

The principle says:

“It is always in your rational self-interest to do the right thing.”

Rightly understood, self-interest and morality are inseparable. The right thing is the right thing because it leads to your own rational self-interest.