Motivating Others to Be All That They Can Be (3 of 3)

If a Christian is motivated to be all that he can be for the Lord, he will also give some thought to how he can best motivate others to be all that they can be.

First, we must understand what motivates people. Once we understand what drives people then we can tailor our interaction with them accordingly. There are three common motivating factors:

  1. Fear of punishment (cf. Heb. 10:25-31),
  2. A sense of duty (cf. Luke 17:10), and
  3. Love (the highest motivator of all; cf. John 14:15).

If we have an understanding of a person's motivation, then we are better prepared to help them. Sometimes Christians need to be reproved, sometimes they need to be rebuked, and sometimes they need to be exhorted (II Tim. 4:2). These actions are sometimes done privately (e.g., in conversation) and sometimes done publicly (e.g., in a sermon). However we try to motivate our brethren, let us always do so in love. Yes, it is possible to rebuke and reprove someone in a loving way as long as you are expressing genuine concern for their soul in a manner that is both tactful and truthful. But, if the rebuke is more out of pride or anger, then it is not done in love. Let us all learn to love each other enough to reprove and rebuke each other as the Scriptures set forth.

Second, we need to encourage fellow Christians to listen to and obey the word of God. There is just not enough of that in the lives of many Christians. Many decisions are made without properly consulting the Lord or His book. When a decision is being contemplated (or if you are concerned about a decision that has already been made), ask your brother or sister: "What does the Bible say about that?" Once that question is answered, the matter should be settled for those that love God first. We should encourage serious Bible study and application of God's word. I do my best to encourage that in my preaching and teaching, but sadly, not everyone I encounter is on the same page. I do worry about certain children of God who seem to have untapped potential and appear to be wasting precious opportunities for serving, studying, & worshiping. We ought to encourage each other to grow in God's grace & knowledge (cf. II Pet. 3:18). We need to be spiritual workers who are not ashamed because we can rightly divide the word of truth (cf. II Tim. 2:15). We need to encourage our brothers and sisters to pick up their swords and use them! And I'm not just talking about on Sundays and Wednesday in the church building! If we're really trying to be all that we can be, we're going to be into God's word daily--studying and growing.

Third, we need to consider one another in order to stir up love and good works. That is one of the fundamental purposes of gathering with Christians (cf. Heb. 10:24,25). We need to stir up prayer, righteous deeds, sacrificial behavior, compassion, grace, zeal, and a host of other good things in one another. In order to avoid frustrating people, however, we may need to tell them that God doesn't expect more from them than they can give. It's not always easy to make time for good works. But don't use the excuse that you're too busy! You set your own schedule and make your own decisions based upon what is most important to you. If you don't have time and are unwilling to make changes in your schedule, then you have a heart problem! The cares of this world are choking you.

And finally, we need to remind our brothers and sisters that their real treasures are not in this life or in this world. Colossians 3:1,2 states - "If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth." Are we doing that or are we pretending to do that? Are you really striving to be all that you can be for the Lord? If not, then changes need to be made in your life.