As a leader what do you value most? No, it’s not a trick question but I ask it so you will ponder a bit deeper into your soul than normal.
In 1 Chronicles you will find the prayer of a man by the name of Jabez. He prayed; “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” (1 Chron. 4:10)
Question, what was his motive for praying this prayer? You might be saying, how would I know his motive, and you would be right. We don’t but motive is what God looks at when listening to the prayers of people. The last words of the verse declare his motive to be pure for it reads; “And God granted his request.”
In leadership few values are more important than motive. Why do you do what you do? What’s your desired outcome? What are you willing to do to get success?
Jonathan Alter wrote; “Anyone can lead where people already want to go; true leaders take them where only their better selves are willing to tread. That’s where the leaders’ own values come in. They must want to do something with their power, not just be powerful.” Leaders have power! How we use it comes from our motives.
Oswald Sanders suggested that “Any ambition which centers around and terminates upon oneself is unworthy, while an ambition which has the glory of God as its center is not only legitimate but positively praiseworthy.” The motive behind any ambition is the factor that makes it worthy or unworthy.
Can you find the motive in these three verses? “Don’t store up (for yourself) treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” (Matthew 6:19-21 NLT)
Jesus obviously understood motive when it came to treasures for oneself and suggested we take time to assure ours were correct. So how do you check personal motives? Let me suggest three words:
Reflection ~ take time look and listen to your hearts desires and expectations. Whatever is in your heart your mouth will speak and your spirit will crave.
Self-examination ~ Pray King David’s prayer often; “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” (Psalms 139:23-24 NLT)
3. Bold Faith ~ The opposite of faith is not fear but unbelief! When you motives are right faith will be easy. (Matt. 6:33)
Contribution By: Dr George Cope