Skip to main content

Avoiding Course Corrections

Have you ever had a bad motive?  Maybe there was a time when you simply felt you had "cause" to act a certain way - so you did.  Or perhaps you just felt moved to some sort of action, not really realizing where the "motive" to act came from.  Either way, I think we struggle with our "motives" more often than we'd like to think.  

A bad motive can't achieve a good end; double-talk brings you double trouble.  (Proverbs 17:20 The Message)  

Solomon gives us some wise advice here.  A bad motive will never achieve a good end.  Start out poorly and we usually finish poorly.  It is always more difficult to change directions than it is to continue on the course we are on.  If you have a GPS, you know what I mean.  Whenever you have experienced the little voice telling you she is "recalculating", you know what is coming, don't you?  Yep, it is the "command" to "turn right" or "turn left" at the next exit!  The GPS is redirecting you because if you stayed on the same course you were on, you'd be in a totally different "destination" than you expected!

Our motives often need a little "redirection".  Motives are kind of like the "accelerator" on a car.  Once you push down on the accelerator, the car is set in motion!  If there is no one "steering" the car, it can lunge forward through garage doors, plow over paths not intended to be traveled by cars, or run people right down.  There is way more to driving a car than pushing down on the accelerator!  Similarly, there is WAY more to living right than just getting a "few" of our motives under control!

In fact, we might just take an inventory over the course of one day.  I had a teacher in Bible school who asked us to do this once.  He challenged us to take a small tape recorder everywhere we went, as a means of keeping track of the words we speak, examining the impact of our words.  At the end, we were to "inventory" our words.  The inventory was difficult, to say the least!  In reviewing those tapes, I found out how many times I actually returned harsh comments with my own harshness, used words which did nothing to build up another, or simply avoided saying something when I probably should have!  

Now, I am not suggesting we all need to tape-record our communication for a day, but this was an eye-opener for me!  When I actually put two-and-two together, I saw how my own words were actually hurting some of my already struggling relationships!  Uh oh!  It was time for a motive change!  Nothing "good" was coming out of my "input" into the relationships!  I needed a "course correction".  

Sometimes our "course corrections" are not all that easy, though.  Getting off-course can cost us valuable time - especially as it applies to relationships!  Whenever we "stumble about" in relationships with others, we may find our time being eaten up by a whole lot of "course-changes".  Remember what I said about driving a car - it takes someone "driving" the car to actually keep it from doing harm!  The same is true in relationship - it takes someone "driving" the relationship to keep it on course.  Now, don't get me wrong - I am not suggesting it be us!  In fact, if Christ is not doing the driving, we will need a whole lot of "God Positioning Service" (GPS) to get us back on track!!!

Motives set things in motion.  Therefore, if we submit our motives to God first, we might just avoid the unnecessary and costly "course corrections" we have had to endure in the past!  


Popular posts from this blog

Getting at the heart of it all

Have you ever seen someone so good with their skinning knife they can just peel away the hide of an animal without a rip or tear, no waste of any of the meat just below that skin? I have seen some fishermen able to fillet their catch with such skill not even one bone is found in the fillet. How do they learn this skill? I think it comes to them through practice and with the employment of the right 'tool' to do the job at hand. There is comfort in knowing that God means what he says and his Word will come to pass. His Word is like the scalpel in the skilled hands of a surgeon or the knife in the hands of the skilled hunter. As a nurse, I have seen the skillful use of the scalpel - dissecting away the finest of tissue to protect the healthy tissue and to expose the tissue that has become devitalized by disease or decay. I have also seen the damage done by a "blade" in the hands of one not trained or at all skilled in its use. The difference is beyond description.

God m…

Be a little salt

Ever wonder why Jesus left his disciples with the idea of being 'salt on this earth'? We don't fully appreciate salt these days because we aren't as accustomed to how it was used during the times Jesus spoke those words. We often have to put ourselves into the culture where the words are being recorded in order to fully comprehend the significance of their meaning. In the days of the disciples, salt was a basic "staple" of life. It was that which acted as "preservation" for everything. It also was the main seasoning of the dishes prepared - although there were other spices, salt was a 'staple'. Perhaps we would do well to look at some of the other functions of salt in order to see what Jesus may have meant when he referred to our lives a salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of the earth.

"Let me tell you why you are here. You're here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltin…

Hey, friend me!

When we really determine to walk the pathway of a disciple, it will cost us. The pathway is not always traveled by as many of those we call "friends" as we'd like to think. Yet, when we find someone to travel with us in this journey of faith, what a blessing it is! We need each other to understand and fulfill God's calling on our lives. We each compliment the other, challenging and uplifting, learning together what is contained deep in the Word of God.

Keep me safe, O God, I've run for dear life to you. I say to God, "Be my Lord!" Without you, nothing makes sense. And these God-chosen lives all around—what splendid friends they make! (Psalm 16:1-3)

David's words ring true in the hearts of many who engage in this walk of discipleship with Christ - without you, God, absolutely nothing makes sense at all. We can attempt to make sense out of tragedy, loss, or even a success all on our own. Without God, and those he places in our lives as fellow travelers…