Wednesday, June 6, 2012

What does God want?

Purity of Motive.

Branfordgirl wrote a post about failure, and its implications in the spiritual life. I left a comment to this effect:

God wants to eradicate the imperfect motive. As long as we are disappointed by “failure” or happy about success, that is a sign that some part of our motive retains the desire for approval, appreciation, some sign of success. When we are indifferent to the reactions of others, then that is a sign that our motive may be pure.

It is supposed to be about pleasing God, not ourselves, not others – and God, who can do all things with or without us, doesn’t care about success. He cares about our motive, and that should be: doing all for love of Him.

I worry about myself and others who either are disappointed by apparent failure, happy about apparent success, and who then go on to think that failure is a sign of God's predilection, and success a sign that he has abandoned us.

I think the far more important concern is purity of motive: indifference to success or failure, simply to have the desire to do all, and to do one's best, all for the love of God.

I am sure that Branfordgirl's underlying meaning, and that of writer Jean Petite, is the development of purity of motive, and not really a preference for failure.

1 comment:

ECStoddard said...

Actually, "purity of motive" was not part of my thinking, and I don't think it was part of Jean Petit's. No, the point I was trying to make is that when we perceive ourselves as successful (notice I say "ourselves," as opposed to "God has worked great things through us"), we have, as the Bible would say, already received our reward. There is no room for Christ to fill that emptiness. It distracts us from developing the habit of realizing that we can be nothing and do nothing without God. As in, "it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me." More of me, less of Jesus.