How do we stay motivated to become better if your significance is already set?
I think the question itself reveals how thoroughly and how deeply ingrained the Lie of Acquired Significance is to us. If all your life has been lived to try to acquire significance, it is probably initially hard for you to even imagine being motivated by any other thing. It could be the case that the reason you’ve done anything; is to acquire something, or to impress somebody, to try to fill your life, or to fulfill a need of some sort. So your whole paradigm of living, and this is true of many people, maybe all of us, to some degree, we’re motivated by this emptiness to live what Paul calls “in the flesh” or to live in this fallen world.
At the core of changing that is the exercise I mentioned on Sunday – using the insert available here.
To live out of fullness, you have to be experiencing fullness. You have to have some times set aside, you have to gas up and start changing, be transformed by the renewing of your mind, to take in the truth and let it start to confront the lie and overcome the lie. And it’s not going to be instantaneous. The Holy Spirit is involved in this, and so has divine power to it – but God doesn’t do Neanderthal. He rarely does Neanderthal in us. He works within us to empower us to take captive every thought to Jesus Christ, and there’s a role we play in that. So we have to choose to believe the truth and confront the lie and choose to meditate on the truth and to grasp the truth and to see Jesus and to hear Jesus and sense Jesus speaking to us the truth. And, as we become convinced that our worth and significance is given to us by grace, upfront for free, apart from our works, then we will find that our motivation starts to change.
In fact, I suggest that the person who has learned living out of fullness will do more with their life, in terms of objective measurements, in terms of the splash they make; they’ll be more motivated when you have learned who you really are in Christ. Now, you live just to express that rather than trying to achieve something you think you’re not. This is not about sitting on your behind and just eating potato chips because God loves you the way you are. He just loves you as you are; but, if you get that, you’re not going to be just eating potato chips and sitting on your behinds.
No! It’s like, “I get to dance with God.” And this is what dancing with God looks like: I want to be the best husband I can be; I want to be the best player I can be, if that’s your calling; or the best teacher I can be; or student I can be; plumber I can be; or dentist I can be, whatever the calling is. Now, you want to dance with that because you know inside who you really are.