Mixed Motives?

driveway.jpgWhy do we do what we do?

Who knows.  I can give you some partial answers, I suppose.  But, so often we make decisions and our motives are mixed.  I suppose as we look at ourselves, we probably give ourselves far too much credit at times for our motives.  Perhaps you do something that you know is right.  Maybe your motive for doing the right thing is completely pure.  Here are some very pure motives:

  • You love God.
  • You want to live in obedience to God.
  • You know what he desires for you to do based upon what you know Scripture to teach.

However, our motives are not always completely pure.  Are yours?  Yes, I may do something because I love God but at times self-interest is involved too.  Yes, I may choose to do what I think Scripture teaches but perhaps I don’t want to look bad either.  Mixed motives.

This morning I read about Eve and Steven Greene who live in New Port Richey, Florida.  A burglar recently broke into their house.  The burglar stole $10,000 worth of valuables, tracked mud all over the house, and snacked on Cheerios while he was there.  Oh.  He took one more thing.

The burglar took an urn containing the ashes of the Greenes’ son, four-year-old Zachary Greene.  Zachary died of cancer in 2005.  His parents kept the ashes in an urn on the fireplace mantel.

The Greenes appealed to the burglar in various newspapers last week: "Just drop it off somewhere with a note on it.  And that’ll be that."

Two days after the burglary, someone left the urn containing Zachary’s ashes on their driveway.

So I wonder, why did the burglar return these ashes?  Why did he take the trouble and risk of returning them to the Greenes’ home?  What were his motives?  Did the request appeal to something within the burglar that is good and right?

I would love to hear the rest of this story. 

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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4 thoughts on “Mixed Motives?

  1. Even a thief can feel sympathy for greiving parents. Hopefully, the events might make the bad guy rethink his life. I hope so.
    Grace and Peace,
    Royce Ogle

  2. Interesting story – let us know if you hear the end to it. 
    I want my motives to be pure, but know that my ‘drive,’ whether it be in work or ministry, often comes from a place of insecurity.  I didn’t (and still don’t) get the validation I need from a parent, so find it in a boss or a client or a pastor.  I don’t feel comfortable under my own skin, so compensate for that by being really, really good at what I do for living. 
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts – so true. 

  3. Trace,Thanks for your candor and your honesty regarding your own motivations.  Somehow, I think we are in a better place if we can at least come clean with other, less noble motivations that may be at work in our lives.If I hear more to this story, I will post.