What is our why? Why do we do what we do?
There’s an incident recorded that happened soon after the miracles of the loaves and fishes where Jesus said this…
‘Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.’
The disciple thought Jesus said this because they’d only brought one loaf of bread on their journey and would need to buy at the other end but Jesus rebukes them reminding them that he’s previously made five loaves feed five thousand and seven loaves feed four thousand with baskets full of leftovers. So what is Jesus telling them?…
‘He bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.’
So firstly, who were the Pharisees and Sadducees?
They were religious sects of the Jewish religion.
“The Pharisees were experts on the law and believed in a strict adherence to important interpretations of the law as a path to holiness. The Sadducees, who were a priestly class, focused on the Temple as the path to holiness.”
The problem was that their WHY was wrong. Jesus said that…
‘all their works they do for to be seen of men:’
They were so concerned with the lesser things that they forgot the importance of ‘judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.’ They tried to be holy in their own strength and wisdom.
Friends it’s our why that matters because…
‘by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
Why do we try to do what’s right?
Is it because that’s what our parents did?
Is it the tradition of our churches?
Is it because we want others to think well of us?
Is it because we want God to think well of us?
Is it because the Bible tells us to do these things, so you are trying to do them?
Friends, each of these motivations are wrong, even the last one (I’ll come back to that in a minute).
So how are we to do things, what should our motivation in everything be?
There’s one very well known passage in the Bible that tells us…
‘Let all your things be done with charity.’ (Or with love, or by love in action).
If we’re truly a Christian, then our ‘why’ should be love!
Good works, the keeping of the law, seeking to do what the Bible says, seeking to please God, going to church, etc all have their place in the life of a child of God BUT are only done rightly when they’re the fruit of our love to God.
Yes, even doing what the Bible says and trying to please God are only done rightly when it’s done out of love to God.
Once again we’ve come back to this, it’s not about us TRYING to be holy, TRYING to lead a better life, TRYING to please God, it’s seeking to…
‘love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength:’
Friends, if that’s our desire, if that’s how we’re seeking to live, we’ll no longer be TRYING to do all these things in our own strength and wisdom as though we have to earn God’s love, instead the desire to do what’s right will be an overflow of our love for the Lord and that love will compel us to do everything FOR God alone, LEANING hard upon Him for all we need to live for Him and for His glory.
Matt 23:5,23, Gal 2:16, 1 Cor 16:14, Mark 12:30.