Pure or Selfish Motives

Humble or Prideful Heart






There is a motive, an intent behind everything we do or say


We are in a battle every day, and the battle is for our mind, 

which includes our thoughts. When the enemy gets control of our thoughts, 

he can control our mind, which controls our whole body.


Matthew 5 Sermon on the mount 1:12       

Matthew 5:14-48   You have heard it say an eye for an eye, But I say do not resist an evil person, if he slaps you on the right cheek, turn the other  etc. 

Matt 5:20 “For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. 

Matthew 6:1-34

What’s our motive in life?

To bring attention to ourselves, or to bring God Glory.

Matt 6:1 “Be careful not to perform your righteous acts before men TO BE SEEN BY THEM. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. (Motive) 

What were some of these righteous acts, which really aren’t righteous at all?  

Fasting     Memorizing scripture        

Praying lengthy prayer     Impressing others    Shaming others        

Drawing attention to themselves       comparison(church #’s)

         Impressing God,                Impressing yourself. 

Drawing attention to yourself, Shaming others                 Selfishness

wanting people to notice you, False humility,           

competition,                                Correcting others (times, dates small things),


Matt 6:2-4  So when you give to the needy, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. . (Motive) Truly I tell you, they already have their full reward. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

I’ve been in way too many services where you hold up your offering ………… Even some services where when you bring it up and put it in the container, you were given a blessing by the pastor.

Matt 6:5-6 And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men.  (Motive) Truly I tell you, they already have their full reward. 6 But when you pray, go into your inner room, shut your door, and pray to your Father, who is unseen. And your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Does God want us to pray, YES? But not to bring attention to ourselves.


Matt 6:7&8 And when you pray, do not babble on like pagans, for they think that by their many words they will be heard. . (Motive) 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.

         We’ve all been around people who go on and on when praying. Have you ever thought about how Jesus prayed? He used very few words to heal people.


9 So then, this is how you should pray: 

‘Our Father in heaven, 

hallowed be Your name,

10 Your kingdom come, 

Your will be done, 

on earth as it is in heaven.

11 Give us this day our daily bread.

12 And forgive us our debts, 

as we also have forgiven our debtors.

13 And lead us not into temptation, 

but deliver us from the evil one.


On earth as it is in heaven

14 For if you forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15  But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive yours.


 If you forgive only to be forgiven it’s the wrong motive.  In many cultures, it’s everyone for themselves, but not in God’s kingdom

16 When you fast, do not be somber like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. (Motive) Truly I tell you, they already have their full reward. 17  But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18so that your fasting will not be obvious to men, but only to your Father, who is unseen. And your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.


Go about your day looking and acting like you normally do.


We even do this when we’ve gotten hurt, and want everyone to notice, to feel sorry for us.

19 Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  . (Motive) What’s the motive for how you live your life?

What is your treasure?  It’s what matters most to you, what you want, what you seek, what makes you happy.  Wealth, fame, popularity, big church, 

 22 The eye is the lamp of the body. If your vision is clear, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your vision is poor, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! Where are we looking, man or God? 

24. No one can serve two masters: Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

25 Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life (this is a choice), what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air: They do not sow or reap or gather into barns—and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?


Worry can be a motive, bringing attention to yourself to receive sympathy.   


28 And why do you worry about clothes? Consider how the lilies of the field grow: They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his glory was adorned like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

31 Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles strive after all these things, and your Heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 BUT SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you. 

         Here again we must ask ourselves, why are we seeking God? Is it for what we can get, or because we want to know Him more intimately?

34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own.”


But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.” James 4:6 – In Ps 138:6 it says He keeps His distance from the proud.


Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and HE WILL EXALT YOU. James 4:10


You ask and do not receive, because YOU ASK WITH WRONG MOTIVES, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. James 4:3


         How many times have we prayed for something or someone, and the underlying reason affected our own life? 


God will exalt us when and if HE chooses to, and in Him timing. After He’s testedour heart.






What does walking humbly look like: By Kris Vallotton 


1. You know who you are without requiring others to acknowledge your identity.  

2. You allow others to get credit for things that should be attributed to you.  

3. You take a lower seat than you deserve.  

4. You refuse to promote yourself.  

5. You allow others to share their accomplishments without sharing yours, especially when yours are greater.

 6. You have an attitude that no task is beneath you.  

7. You’re honest about your weaknesses.  

8. You admit your mistakes.  

9. You live below your means.  

10. You work to promote others.  

11. You’re teachable.  

12. You’re correctable.  

13. You’re influenceable.



More Wrong motives: Interrupting, having to take credit for things, criticizing, manipulation, control, to KEEP OTHERS DEPENDENT ON YOU, not having to have the last word.


As a pastor, or leader are you threatened by those you teach, that they might become more known, liked, and followed than you?


It doesn’t matter how many things we accomplish for the kingdom of God, if we are not humble, they will count for nothing.