Why Am I Doing This?
The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood. John 7:18
In preparing for my upcoming book I’ve been working on growing the audience for my writing platform. Basically, this means putting in time, money, and effort at promoting the message in which I believe. Frankly though, it’s uncomfortable to do so. It feels as if I’m endorsing myself. Look at me! As a friend recently told me though, there is a vast difference in promoting one’s self and promoting a message. Still though, I’ve justified enough self-destructive behavior in my life, that I must constantly interrogate my motives in everything I do. Am I doing this for self-affirmation, or to truly help others find faith and recovery?
Jesus addressed this conflict of motives in today’s passage. In the story, Jesus’ authority to teach in the temple was questioned by the Jewish leaders in attendance. Jesus defended himself, claiming that it should be obvious that he was from God because he was doing and promoting God’s will. He taught that we’re not to trust those who seek their own glory or affirmation, but rather to judge a messenger by his motives and message.
This is the standard I must use to interrogate my own efforts. Why am I doing this? Am I doing this for my own ego? Or, am I genuinely doing this to point others to faith and recovery?
These are really the questions we should be asking ourselves every day. What am I living for? What is my life about? Am I simply living for me? Or, do I live to love God and my neighbors? Most of us are inherently self-centered. Our first instinct in any situation, is to ask how it affects us. What do I get out of this? Jesus however, said that our lives are meant to serve God and those around us. We don’t exist simply for ourselves. Daily, we’re supposed to follow God, encouraging others to do the same.
I believe that God holds the answers to life’s deepest needs. He saved me from my own addiction and I desire that others come to know the freedom he’s shown me. Daily then, I must make sure that I’m promoting not myself, but God’s message of faith and recovery.