Motivation

Home Worshiping 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.

“Self” on Trial: A Look at Christian Motivation

Wikimedia Commons

As Christian leaders speak out for missions, some have set up “self” as a bogeyman. I regularly hear pastors rail against “self.” Apparently, the lowest insult is that a person be “selfish.”

I don’t accept this understanding of Christian motivation. In fact, “right and wrong” are categories for guiding us in pursuing life; and for any individual man, this means: his own life. Therefore, “self-interest” (a.k.a. selfishness) is the very foundation of morality.

Why It’s Not “Better” To Give

I often hear the misquote: “It is better to give than to receive.”

Paul relays this maxim from Jesus in Acts 20:35.

The error? Jesus did not say “It is better…” Rather, he said, “It is more blessed…”

Being a Christian Individualist

In a post several months ago, I wrote, “Our mission requires self-denial, but we cannot make self-denial be the mission.”

What do you think about this idea?

A friend commented wisely, saying he doesn’t believe American Christians place too much emphasis on self-denial. We pay lip service to self-denial, but we tend to struggle with self-indulgence.

I agree with his points completely. Surprisingly though, I believe the solution to American self-indulgence is not less Individualism, but more.

Christian Rand Fan?

I went looking for Christian fans of Ayn Rand. Here are the results of my search.

If your interests are similar to mine, these lists could save you a lot of time. My search answers the question:

Is belief in Jesus compatible with conservative or libertarian political ideas?

I found only a handful of Christians who were enthusiastic about Rand’s ideas. You can find us here.

I’ve noticed many Christian writers denouncing Rand and any attempt at a political coalition between the Tea Party conservatives and the fans or devotees of Rand.

My guess is that most Christians (even most Christian leaders or pastors) have not heard of Rand. Of those who have heard of her, I think 95% have strong dislike of her, but only rarely is their opinion formed from actually reading her.

Meanwhile, mainstream Christianity is moving toward more overt socialism/collectivism politically.

But social media has allowed the Tea Party or libertarian Christians to gain somewhat of an audience. Though the base is still small, there are many more Christians thinking clearly about liberty and rights today than at any time in the past century.

As a Christian Rand fan myself, I hope to speak to Christians about the need to take Rand’s ideas seriously. Though Christians will not agree with all the answers Rand offered, we will be better off when we begin to ask the questions she asked.