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What's Your Motivation?--Benjamin Watson (September 15) Game #3

Put your heart and soul into every activity you do, as though you are doing it for the Lord himself and not merely for others. Colossians 3:23

Most serious athletes or performers are diligent about seeking to be their very best. This is seen as these individuals invest incredible amounts of time into practicing, growing physical stature, and making mental preparations for their next venture into the public eye. There is a sort of perfectionism that is frequently prevalent in the people who dedicate themselves to these types of endeavors.

Is there something wrong with that? Why would it be wrong to try to be your very best at what you do? Doesn’t Jesus command that of us? There are definitely passages where Christ-followers are urged to do their very best. The doing of your very best is ultimately not good or bad in and of itself. The thing that makes your striving for perfection good or bad is simply your motivation for doing it.

Striving for perfection to enhance your own reputation is self-serving. When it’s put that way it is easier to see that self is not a very good motivation. What about doing it for someone else--a friend, a teammate, or someone less fortunate? This verse demonstrates motivation for others as not being good enough either. It says “not merely for others.” The only truly acceptable reason for the investment of heart and soul into your efforts is to do it for “the Lord himself.” If something or someone other than God is your motivation for doing your very best, that someone or something is taking the place of God.

For a long time, Benjamin Watson was dedicated to perfection. His actions, however, were filled with fear of making mistakes. This does not sound like the right motivation either. One day his perspective shifted. He states, “When I realized that God’s grace is bigger than my failures, everything changed.” Isn’t it interesting that his dedication to his best became right when he had to depend on God’s grace to accomplish it? Yes, strive to do your best, but do it in the power of the Holy Spirit for the sake of God’s reputation.

How would adopting Watson’s discovery change how you play the game today at TIU? Don’t you think you would be freed to thrive as a result of not carrying the burden of a fear of mistakes? Play the game for your audience of one and experience an energy and hope that you may never have experienced before. Go, do your best, but do it in the power of God for the glory of God. You will know a new motivation that is the only motivation that really matters!!

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