Whether we like it or not, this is a question we will all have to answer one day. It is an unpopular question that probes for the motives behind our actions. The reverse is the case these days. People talk only about the actions (what has been done) – “Oh! He gave a million bucks to charity”; “She has been moving across the Arab nations preaching the gospel for the past 7 years”; “That pastor is so nice, he visits all his members every month”; “that couple is so loving, they are always working together to bless lives”; etc. But God has made his position clear – “… I do not judge as people judge. They look at the outward appearance, but I look at the heart” I Samuel 16:7 (GNB).
Beloved, God will not reward us based on the size of the work we did for him; he will reward us based on the size of the heart with which we worked with him. 1Corinthians 3:13 (GNB) says “And the quality of each person’s work will be seen when the Day of Christ exposes it”. I think a good question to ask here is – how does God measure quality?
Every week I try to compose an exhortation and send to subscribers of Christ Lifeline weekly devotional messages. I remember there was a week I did not feel like writing at all and I didn’t want to send any message. But it occurred to me that I have a reputation of posting messages on a weekly basis. I immediately composed a message and sent it. Guess what? I received numerous testimonies from people who were blessed by that message, but I knew afterwards that I was ranking very low in terms of quality. Why? My motivation for writing that week was just to sustain my reputation. I began to see more clearly why some pastors have said that on the Day of Judgment, many will be shocked.
Why do you do the good things you do? Is it to sustain your reputation; retain people’s attention; obtain worldly satisfaction; or to maintain an impression? Men may give kudos to the outward form, but God will look at the motivation behind the outward form. One key yardstick God will use to judge our works is elucidated in 1 Corinthians 13:3 (BBE) “And if I give all my goods to the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it is of no profit to me”. Hmm! The most arresting outward appearance without a corresponding inward compliance to the rule of Christ’s love is utterly useless.
Apostle Paul understood this principle when he said – “we are ruled by the love of Christ …” 2 Corinthians 5:14 (GNB). Beloved, let’s start checking our motives before we face eternity. Before we commence or continue racing on any “good lane”, let’s ask ourselves – what is my motive? Let the love of Christ be our motivation so that when our work is made manifest in the day of Christ, we will receive a reward.