Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

What's Our Motive?

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

What's Our Motive?

Article excerpt

Motives are so fundamental to both what we say and what we do, and yet - if we are not alert - words can pop out before we have really considered our reason for saying them. Reactions are frequently unpremeditated, not based in thoughtful consideration.

What causes these different situations? I have found that when our underlying motive is based in human emotion, then we may well feel either falsely justified in - or quickly regretful of - our words or actions.

But when our motives are unselfish and pure, and we are true to them, then both our words and deeds can bring blessings. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes: "Love inspires, illumines, designates, and leads the way. Right motives give pinions to thought, and strength and freedom to speech and action" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," p. 454).

The first chapter of Genesis in the Bible teaches that we are made in the image and likeness of God. Our true, spiritual identity is the reflection of God, who is Love (see I John 4:8). So each of us is naturally capable of letting divine Love guide our motives, and of expressing pure, loving qualities. Animosity, hatred, selfishness, and human will are unnatural qualities of thought. They do not stem from the light of spiritual Truth, or Christ, which reveals our true, spiritually pure nature and dissolves dark motives as we turn our thought toward God.

What about when others seem to be demonstrating false, impure motives? Christ Jesus gives us the answer in his Sermon on the Mount: "First cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye" (Matthew 7:5). We must first look at our own motives and perspective. Are we seeing man as God's spiritual idea, or accepting the false, material picture of others as mistaken mortals? Spiritualization of thought and motives is possible to all of us when we begin to open our hearts to the Christ.

The Apostle Paul, 2,000 years ago, experienced this transformation of thought and character. Initially motivated by great animosity, he was en route from Jerusalem to Damascus to capture and condemn to death Christians. …

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