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



One time a therapist asked me, “So when are you going to forgive them?”

I replied, “I do. Every morning of every day.” I paused. Then said, “And someday I won’t have to think about forgiving them anymore.”

The therapist gave me a look that I interpreted as, Ok then. Carry on.

Seems like an extreme moment in some respects and it was for me. Fortunately I’ve reached a time now when I hardly ever think about the situation which brought me to that moment. I suppose I’ve arrived at the “forget” part of “forgive and forget.” I’ll take it.

Forgive and forget rarely happens at the same time for most people. I see folks deal with hurt and struggles regarding forgiveness over and over each year.

Humans. Seems like we like to carry baggage around sometimes. I am learning to travel lighter and lighter and to forgive quickly–try to!

The song Who You Are by Unspoken is one of my favorite songs about forgiveness.

Have you ever known someone who wants to stay mad, wants to hold onto their hurt, wants to punish someone into apologizing and then still won’t forgive them? That is a sad and difficult place because even if someone did say or wants to say sorry the other person refuses their attempt.

I know sometimes people need time. So give them their time. All you can do is apologize and hope/pray for the best.

Forgive yourself too. Give forgiveness and release yourself from the pain. Forgiveness is a process.

Aren’t we lucky that Jesus doesn’t hold grudges?

Imagine if Jesus said, “What? I die in sacrifice for you and you still mess up? I’m not talking to you. I’m going to bully you, punish you, tell everyone I know about how you wronged me. I’m not even going to look at you.” Imagine.

But that’s not how Jesus is. He forgives 70 x 7 (Matthew 18:21-22). He says love your enemies (Matthew 5:44). He says we are to love one another (John 13:34).

The Bible is filled with good advice about forgiveness…and all that wisdom is easy to forget about when we are mad. Put away the anger. Draw life from His Word.

Here’s a link to: Who You Are. I adore the lyrics.