Motivation

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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.

Love of Self?

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A couple days ago I wrote about my bold position on self-interest in the Bible. I gave verses that point to one’s own life as the standard of value. One reader responded with a set of verses that seem to deny self-interest. Today I’ll explain one of them: 2 Timothy 3:2.

“People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy…”

The verse condemns wicked people for being “lovers of self.”

In light of this verse, should I change my view on self-interest?

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.

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.

O Bless Me Now, My Savior

Does God want us to be motivated by his rewards?

For a very long time people have been singing of their great reward. And not only Americans.
The Hebrew book of worship, the Psalms, is prefaced by the following:

Blessed is the man
 who walks not
In the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stands in the way of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree
 planted by streams of water
That yields its fruit in its season,
And its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
-Ps 1:1-3

Here are 50 of my favorite lines of blessing in the hymns.