Saturday, January 9, 2010

What Is Our Motivation?

I am getting around to reading some of my old journals. This past year one author related how
Dale Meyer, President of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, told a story about a course on preaching that he continues to teach. When the course begins, he emphatically tells his students that in none of the sermons they write for this course should they say anything encouraging evangelism. That is, these sermons are not to tell people to tell the good news about Jesus.[1]
At first glance this flies in the face of what Christians, preachers or otherwise, are asked to do from every spiritual authority in the church. When he explains his purpose, it makes sense.  He wants them
to preach about Christ the Savior and friend of sinners in such an enticing and endearing way that their hearers will want to tell others about him, even when they are not given any specific directive to do so.[2]
Interesting tactic. It got me to thinking about motivations. Why do I act and speak as I do? What is my true intention when admonishing, reproving, correcting, or training in righteousness? I fear that too often my goal is to just knock sense into someone or worse yet, prove I am correct at any cost. That is living by the lawdoing what needs done because it is commanded.

The proper course of action is to be motivated by grace.  As the apostle Peter conveyed it to us:
For this is why the gospel was preached even to those who are dead, that though judged in the flesh the way people are, they might live in the spirit the way God does. The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 4:6-11

[1] Ken Schurb, "Missional: The Church in Luther's Large Catechism," Logia XVIII, no. 1 (2009): 21.
[2] Ibid.

No comments: