does motivation matter?

It is within my power to serve God, or not to serve Him. Serving Him I add to my own good and the good of the whole world. Not serving Him, I forfeit my own good and deprive the world of that good which was within my power to create. – Leo Tolstoy

Not all of us come from the faith perspective shared by Tolstoy. Statistical studies tell us that such a spiritually oriented viewpoint is no longer the worldview of the majority in our country.

While this is not exactly a surprise it is does provide a good reflection point. Having lived my entire adult life as a practicing Christian, I totally understand and appreciate Tolstoy’s comment. Yet, at the same time, I recognize that there are those who would argue that doing good has nothing to do with spirituality or a specific faith tradition.

I cannot separate my spirituality from my lifestyle. It’s who I am.

I live the way I do because of my understanding and my love of God. I try to serve those most in need out of a deep desire to be a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ. I want what I do to reflect God’s love.

Yet, I totally get it that my way is not the only way. The important point for me is to live for others.

In the end, however, motivation doesn’t matter. Action does.

The power is within each of us to serve God, or not. The power is also within each of us to serve others. We all, every single one of us, have the power to help change the world into a better and more just place.

Regardless of our motivation, let’s live so that we do not deprive the world of the good within our power to create.