What’s my motive? is my new favorite question.
We humans do thousands of actions and spew millions of words each day, but how often do we keep in check our reasons why we do or say “stuff”?
Why do we feel the need to share a story or state what we ate for breakfast today? Do we know why we go to a weekly meeting?
Why do we choose to be nice to the boss or kind to a co-worker, but maybe not kind to someone else?
So lately–as often as I can think of it–I’ve begun to ask myself “what is my motive?” before speaking or before taking certain actions. If my motive is selfish or self-serving, then I try to refrain by holding my tongue.
Recently I attended an event with my son. I looked forward to seeing some friends that I hadn’t seen in a while. There was a bunch of things I thought about sharing with them, but when I asked myself what is my motive?, there was no good reason to go into what was on my mind. I chose to chill and listen.
I learned that both of my parenting peers have been going through some tough stuff; a death in the family, an illness with grandparents, etc. They needed to talk and it felt good to relax and simply be there for them.
Sure, there are times to chat it up and there are times to be the listener, but to discern the right timing is key. Start with knowing what your motive is.
I believe that checking your motive takes practice. I’m sure I’ll be practicing for the rest of my life. Here’s a link to verses about holding your tongue. Good stuff! http://www.openbible.info/topics/taming_your_tongue