I usually don’t respond well to external motivation. Anytime I sense someone trying to get me to do something, I resist. I know, not much of a team player. However, if they tap into something that wells up inside me, then look out!
In the world of physics, when external pressure is greater than internal pressure, what happens? The object implodes. But when internal pressure is greater than external pressure, kinetic energy explodes. I know a little geeky for this blog.
So ok, let’s look at it through a human relational lens.
A person’s internal pressure results from what they tend to place on themselves, such as, perfection, intensity, self-criticism. These pressures motivate a person to action many times with damaging side-effects.
Whereas, external pressure on a person might include financial goals, a certain result in mind, or the expectations of another person. These pressures can also cause unwanted effects while driving a person toward a goal.
So which one is better?
I need to attribute my recent pondering on this topic to a blog written by Jason Johnson—The Power of the Gospel in Orphan Care Recruitment.
Jason explores the question about how to recruit or motivate people to get on board with a ministry, specifically Orphan Care. His point in the blog that our efforts to motivate people to get involved with an orphan care ministry, or any other ministry or cause, is backwards.
He contends that we begin first with what is within us—that is where our internal motivation lies.
A Christian’s motivation involves so much more
A person filled with the Holy Spirit has a different internal motivation than striving for perfection or a self-criticism.
What God places in us is both an external and an internal motivation. The God of the Universe who is separate and beyond His creation draws us to serve Him as a Holy God. Then He places His own Spirit in us giving us that compels us to, as Jason puts it, demonstrate the Gospel.
What God is doing in me through His Spirit continually changes me from the inside out. Out of this, I care for orphans, share a meal with a homeless friend, help a widow fix things around her home, live life with a neighbor, invest in parts of the world that have little or no access to the Gospel all in hopes that they will also, if they don’t already, get to meet God through the love of Jesus Christ.
What happens when Christians embrace what God has placed in them?
I can’t say this any better than Jason and it applies to any “movement” in our communities and churches that we seek participation in:
Amen and Amen.