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What Drives You?

There are two emotions that are great motivators; anger and fear.

Anger causes us to do the wrong things. We react in negative ways. We act on impulse. We move before considering consequences. It's a driving hunt for revenge or retaliation. Or it's a sudden intense rage that clouds any rational thinking.

Fear cause us to not do the right things. We escape, avoid, run and hide. We're paralyzed, afraid to take a step, wondering, "Is this right? Is this wrong? What if this doesn't work? What if I make a mistake? What will others think?"

In Exodus 2, Moses, having been given up by his Hebrew mother, has been raised as an Egyptian in the house of Pharaoh as one of the king's family members. He sees an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, and in a moment of anger he kills the Egyptian. Soon after that, he runs up on two Hebrews who are arguing, tries to mediate the disagreement, and is confronted, "Who put you in control? What if we don't stop? Are you going to kill one of us like you did that Egyptian?" Suddenly, Moses is afraid and runs away to another country.

It's not until some time later that Moses is called by God to a mission and purpose bigger than himself. Moses, despite doubts, obstacles, and frustrations, gives the rest of his life for the work to which God had called him and for the people to whom God had sent him.

And that's the greater motivator: Love.

Love causes us to do the right things no matter the cost. When love is the motivator, we're thinking of more than just ourselves or our own selfish desires. We relentlessly pursue that which we're passionate about. We'd run through walls and overcome enormous obstacles for what we love. Think of a parent with their child. Think of a man with his wife. Think of God with his people. There's nothing that's needed that can't or won't be done.

Maybe all of this is a little of what Paul was trying to explain to Timothy when he wrote, "God's Spirit doesn't make cowards out of us. The Spirit gives us power, love, and self-control."

When we realize that any "power" we have is actually God's power at work in us, we're able to live not in fear, but with a confidence in God's presence and activity in our life. When we yield ourselves to God's authority, we're able not to react in anger, but to act under self-control. When we receive the love God offers, really recognize and accept it, we're able to live with a consuming passion for God and an unconditional love for all people.

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