The Motives Test

Proverbs 16:2 “All the ways of a person are clean in his own sight, but the Lord examines the motives.”  Motive: The compelling force or reason behind a person’s actions

Behavior, actions, and words reveal our motives

  • Words we speak 
  • Matthew 12:34 “For the mouth speaks for that which fills the heart” 
  • Words reveal our hearts and motivations
  • The way we spend our money 
  • Luke 12:34 “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
  • Our money is tied to what our heart loves
  • Schedule 
  • Where we spend our time reveals our motivations; let church be the reason you miss things, not other events be the reasons you miss church
  • James 4:3 “You ask and do not receive, because you ask with the wrong motives, so that you may spend what you request on your pleasures.”


Motive tests show up when you’re tempted to quit.


Three gates to consider as you fill your heart with the right motive

  • Eyes
  • Matthew 6:22-23 “The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!”
  • Think about your vision, perspective, outlook, paradigm, and lens you view through
  • We don’t see the world as it is, we see the world as we are
  • We create our world based on how we see the world
  • Make sure your perspective lines up with God’s perspective
  • What we let in through our eyes fills our hearts and shapes our motives
  • Ears
  • Luke 8:18 “So take care how you listen; for whoever has, to him, more will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken away from him.” 
  • Be careful how you listen to or receive the word that you listen to
  • Thoughts
  • Thoughts formed our motives
  • 2 Corinthians 10:5 “We are destroying arguments and all arrogance raised against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”
  • Pull down all thoughts that are not aligned with God’s word


Facilitating Discussion

  1. Why is it important to understand why we do what we do?
  2. How are your motives being revealed to you in this season?