Daily Worship

Mixed motives

November 04, 2017 0 1
Image credit: M Lunan

1 Thessalonians 2: 1-8

1 You yourselves know, brothers and sisters, that our coming to you was not in vain, 2 but though we had already suffered and been shamefully maltreated at Philippi, as you know, we had courage in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in spite of great opposition. 3 For our appeal does not spring from deceit or impure motives or trickery, 4 but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the message of the gospel, even so we speak, not to please mortals, but to please God who tests our hearts. 5 As you know and as God is our witness, we never came with words of flattery or with a pretext for greed; 6 nor did we seek praise from mortals, whether from you or from others, 7 though we might have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, like a nurse tenderly caring for her own children. 8 So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you have become very dear to us.

Many of us might feel that we do not have the confidence of Paul to suggest that how we share the message is free from ‘deceit, impure motives or trickery’ or as in The Message translation, ‘error, mixed motives or hidden agendas’, but perhaps we can begin with the question - is how I do it kind, loving, without judgement? Is there an integrity to my witnessing?

In our enthusiasm we might sometimes be unaware of our motives but our comfort lies in the knowledge that we are on a pilgrimage, that God is a forgiving God and that God is far bigger than any mistakes we might make. How then do we begin to notice our motives? To know when we fail to speak for fear of offending or when we pretend that we are more important than we are, when we get more caught up in our message rather than in who it is being heard. 

For some it helps to find a wise friend and to try to be honest about ourselves. For some  the practice of ending the day in reflection. Firstly giving thanks for what went well, asking God what was revealed in these encounters; then recalling moments when you felt that you weren’t at your best and how that felt, asking for forgiveness. End by entrusting tomorrow in to God’s care.


Living, loving God

sometimes we forget that it’s not all our responsibility

sometimes we forget that You go before us

sometimes we forget to listen to You, to others, even to our own wisdom.


Living Loving God

thank you for the times when you have used me to bring your message

thank you for the times when You have covered over my mistakes

thank you for the community which guides me and shapes me.

for the sake of Your kingdom

Living loving God be with me today and all my days. Amen.