What Is Our Motivation?



"How can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?" Genesis 39:9


The situation here was dire. Joseph was being faced with temptation, manipulation, and fear. He had been sold into slavery by his brothers and, through God’s providence, had been made overseer of his master’s house, having been put in charge of all his master had (Genesis 39:4). Joseph was noble, successful, and handsome. His master’s wife had set her sights on him and tried again and again to manipulate him into sleeping with her. Joseph, however, being a man of God, resisted the temptation. His resistance eventually cost him his freedom when his master’s wife falsely accused him of sexual harassment to get revenge for his rejection.

Joseph was willing to suffer worldly consequences because his motivation was pure. He wasn’t running from temptation because he might get in trouble; he resisted his master’s wife because he truly knew he would be sinning against God. What is our motivation for resisting sin? Do we do so in order to look good in others’ eyes? Do we do so simply to avoid consequences?

Our motivation in all of our actions should be purely God-honoring. We don't resist sin in order to earn our salvation as grace and mercy are gifts from God. We resist sin because we love God. Our obedience and our motivations should be out of pure love and reverence for our Creator. When David lamented to God about his sin in Psalm 51:4, he stated it was against God and God alone that he had sinned. He hid God's word in his heart so he would not sin against Him (Psalm 119:11).

Do you find yourself staying out of trouble simply because of worldly consequences, or is honoring God your motivation in every choice you make? Take some this time this week and ask God to help you examine your motivations in all you do.


Father, help me to hide Your word in my heart so I may not sin against You. Help me to have the reverence and respect for You that You deserve. Guide me in every decision I make, and help me when I am tempted to not honor You always. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

Your Turn

What is your motivation in your decisions? Spend time in Psalm 119 this week. How does the Word of God help us in a life of godliness?

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Chelsi Woods is the coffee-loving Content Manager for Whole Magazine and a writer for the Reformed Outlook. She is a Jesus-loving, tattooed soccer mom to a beautiful, blue-eyed 12-year-old girl and “Choo-Choo” to a 9-year-old nephew and 4-year-old niece. Her hobbies include communicating in gifs, playing guitar, and bad dad jokes. Chelsi’s passionate pursuit is to teach women solid, Biblical truths focused on spiritual growth, loving God with our minds, all while glorifying God and enjoying Him forever.

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