Let’s face it: we just love some things more than others. Give me chocolate over Brussels sprouts any day. While I have to muster up the motivation to get through the zucchini, at times I’ve needed someone to save me from myself around the Double-Stuff Oreos. Can you relate?
I find a similar dynamic with chores around the house and responsibilities at work. My internal motivation roars into action with things that I’m good at and enjoy doing. But the projects where I lack desire or skill routinely get bumped down the list and put off until external motivation forces my hand. I don’t think I’m alone on this.
As we recently considered what hinders us from sharing the Gospel with others, we identified “lack of motivation” as one of our challenges. It’s brutally honest to admit that our witness is muted because we are lazy and/or apathetic. Casting stones seems appropriate here, but I’m not sure how to go about throwing them at myself. So, rather than wallow, let’s focus our thoughts on how we can overcome our indifference and fuel our engagement.
- Re-read the first four posts in the “Our Hindrances” series. Recognize that our fear of rejection, lack of opportunities, lack of time, and lack of confidence can hinder our motivation. Confess these to the Lord and ask for His help. Seek encouragement and lifestyle changes where necessary.
- Refuel your passion for God. What are you passionate about? Do you have difficulty talking about the things that really excite you? It’s more likely that you have a hard time not talking about them. The painful truth is that our apathy about the Gospel displays our failure to grasp (or maintain sight of) its inexpressible wonder and transcendent glory. If your tank is low, revisit the glory of the Gospel in your own life. Be captured again in the power of the cross and the promise of the empty grave. In 2 Corinthians 5:11–21 Paul speaks of his great joy in being Christ’s ambassador. In the middle of this passage he indicates that he can’t be silent. It was just impossible. His passion could not be contained:
2 Corinthians 5:14,15 For Christ’s love compels us because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again.
- Remind yourself of the desperate needs of others. The Scriptures teach that those who die apart from Christ will spend eternity in separation from God in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:11–15). This really is a matter of life and death.
- Take the first step. The first step is the hardest. Don’t wait for someone else. Don’t think that you can’t make a difference. You are Christ’s ambassador. You go in His name, in His strength, and with His power!
I pray that we would love Jesus more than everything else and that our love for Him would manifest itself in our unhindered witness!
Jonathan Wiley is the Community and Connections Pastor. A native Buckeye from northeast Ohio, Jonathan met his wife, Kim, at Grace, where she has been connected since childhood. Jonathan studied business (Grace College) and theology (Grace Seminary) before working in management for a leading multi-national corporation in northern Indiana. In addition to spending time with his family, Jonathan enjoys the outdoors, water sports, handyman projects, and commiserating with Cleveland Browns fans. Jonathan and Kim have three young children.