Thursday, May 22, 2008


Do I come to God for selfish or loving reasons? Am I motivated by our simple relationship or by the reward that might come from the relationship? Would I serve Jesus if there was no heaven, no hope of eternity? Do I want Him to get me ‘out of a bind’ or to build long-term character in me?

Richard Foster in “Prayer, Finding the Hearts True Home” says, “We are a tangled mass of motives – altruistic and selfish, merciful and hateful, loving and bitter... But what I’ve come to see is that God is big enough to receive us with all our mixture… This is what grace means, and not only are we saved by it we live by it as well.”

So, I keep going to Him, in honesty, presenting all my motives both good and bad. I know He desires honesty more than anything else (Psalm 51). I keep trusting that He knows me better than I know myself and it’s best to bring everything to Him like a little child trusting in his father. My own children have been known to come to me with ridiculous requests. Sometimes the self-centeredness apparent in the requests bothers me but then I think I would be even more bothered if they didn’t come to me at all. I’m their father. That’s what I’m there for. I can only imagine that this is the way it is with my Heavenly Father.


jtc said...

I really like that Richard Foster quote and you pose a great question... I recently read a quote by Dietrich Bonhoeffer who in examining motives in prayer said "'Seek God, not happiness'- this is the fundamental rule of all meditation," he then added, "if you seek God alone, you will gain happiness: that is a promise."

Jonathan Foster said...

that's good. thanks.