Motivation

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Why Rational Self-Interest?

Christians often denounce “selfishness,” but the Bible shows rational self-interest as our main reason to follow God. Whether we look to the Old or New Testament, to believers, or to the God whom they serve, we see self-interest. We should check our understanding of the concept of “self-interest.” Those who denounce self-interest say we should follow Jesus because of who he is, but not because of what he can do for us. Is that what the Bible says?

God the Father is self-interested:

Psalm 115:3

He does all that he pleases.

“Self” on Trial: A Look at Christian Motivation

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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.

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.

Does Rational Self-Interest Mean “Faith for Hire”?

The first step of my philosophical journey was reading The Fountainhead. The novel taught me to uncompromisingly seek my own rational self-interest. If values are personal and selfish, then I must choose them myself. From my smallest choice of personal taste, to my choices in friends or career, I cannot depend on others to set my direction. For every choice I make, I must have a reason.

My Wife Loves Me Conditionally

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No, I don’t love my husband unconditionally. In fact, I am insulted by the idea of it.

Somehow, the idea of “unconditional love” has been accepted by our culture as the most pure and true form of love possible. To love someone for personal gain is considered vulgar and opposite to love.