Sunday, April 18, 2010


I have never been very good at logic puzzles. This seems weird to me because I think I am a pretty logical thinker. I do not enjoy working on them just for brain exercise. I think this may be why I have never been too good at math. However, when it comes to real world problems and solutions, I will spend hours pondering novel solutions.

The best explanation I have found for this paradox is an issue of motivation. I guess I have a hard time seeing the point of solving a nebulous problem that does not do anyone any good. Many different things tend to provide us with motivation. Sometimes we merely want to do better than other people, other times we are motivated by trying to master a task. Trying to achieve valued goals is also motivating, so is trying to avoid unwanted consequences. Motivation is also affected by the extent that we personally identify with our objectives, as well as how we perceive our own capabilities.

In John 4, Jesus talks about his motivation. He was not trying to write a best-selling book, build a mega church, or to be known as the greatest guy around. Jesus’ valued goal was to do the will of his father. He was not trying to avoid consequences, for he knew he had to face them head-on. His life was surrendered to reach his goal and he seemed to have such confidence that people listened to him.

I think it is important for us to examine what motivates us, as well as how that affects our behavior. As part of that, we must consider our real goals, what we value that may be driving us onward. I guess the final step is to soberly assess whether you think that motivation is in line with what is right and good.

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