My posting on Wednesday about “motivation” was sort of a trick question in itself. And I’ll explain why by showing you what I think Apostle Paul’s motivation is.
2 Corinthians 5:10-18a is a passage where Paul talks about what the motivation is behind his ministry of reconciling man to God. What’s interesting is both “positive” and “negative” aspects are presented (although “positive” and “negative” are not exactly the right words to describe this), but there’s more.
In verse 9, Paul says we must be pleasing to God. And why? Because of the fear of God:
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men…” (vv 10-11a)
But Paul is also “controlled” by the love of God:
“For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.” (vv 14-15)
This concept of being “controlled” is important. In a way, this flows naturally not from doing, but from being. We are who we are if we are in Christ and are changed by Him:
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God…” (vv 17-18a)
So Paul’s motivation is beyond the category of “positive” vs. “negative.” It’s less important to consider what your motivation is. It’s more important to consider who your Motivator is.