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Well hi there!  It’s been a while.  How’ve you been?  Me? I’m good.  I’ve got something on my mind today, so I thought I’d stop in.  What’s that?  This is MY blog?  I belong here?  Oh… well, in that case, sorry I’ve been MIA.  Explanation forthcoming:

So after years and years of waffling (not the delicious, syrupy kind, the other less attractive kind), I’ve gone back to school to get my Master’s in Psychology.  It’s Week 6, and it’s been quite the adventure to say the least.  Lots of reading, lots of writing, a little more reading, and then when I’ve got nothing else to do, I can always write.  Or read.  At the beginning of 2011, someone challenged me to pick a word that would be my theme and my motivation for the year.  I picked “learning”.   Any guesses why? 🙂

Speaking of motivation (and learning), I’ve been learning about all the different psychological theories that are out there – Everything from Freud (he needed counseling) to Perls (come to think of it, so did he).  In case you didn’t know, psychology is the study of how we think, why we act, and what we feel while we’re thinking and acting.  Basically, it’s the study of what makes humans human.  And reading all these different theories on human motivation has me thinking. 

We may never agree on what motivates us to act the way we do, think the way we do and feel the way we do.  There are just too many variables.  But one thing we can agree on is this: We were created with a purpose.  Our lives have meaning.  We’re not just here to mark time and die.  When God created Adam, He had a very specific purpose in mind.  Actually, He had two:

  1. We were created to be in relationship.  First, we were created to be in relationship with God (1 John 3:1-3).  After Adam and Eve rebelled, God kicked them out of Eden.  But He didn’t cut them  (and by extension, us) off completely.  In fact, God walked with Moses and Abraham.  He talked to Cain, Isaac, Jacob and Hosea.  The fact that God continued to commune with man even after sin entered the world tells us that He wants to have a relationship with us.  In fact, even more boldly, the cross says the same thing!  And second, obviously, we were created to be in relationship with other humans (John 13:34-35). 
  2. We were created to bring glory to God (2 Corinthians 3:18).  In fact, everything in creation was created to bring glory to God (see Psalm 19, for example).  Now if you’re anything like me, that sounds a little self-centered on God’s part.  He made people and things so that He would get glory. But Louie Giglio puts it this way: In a nutshell, who else deserves glory but God?  If there was anyone (or anything) else more deserving of glory, that’s who (or what) would be God.

So how does this tie into human motivation?  Knowing our purpose gives us the motivation we need to live out each day to its fullest.  Knowing we were created to be in relationship can help us do everything we can to make sure our relationships are strong and healthy and it reminds us that God wants to spend time with us.  Quiet time isn’t something we do because we have to.  It becomes something we’re excited about because it means spending time with Someone who loves us unconditionally and in ways we can’t even begin to understand.

Knowing we were created for God’s glory helps our awareness of how we act and think.  It helps us make decisions as we go through life.  “Is what I’m about to do going to bring glory to God?  ‘Cause if not, maybe I shouldn’t do it.”  This brings a whole new perspective on our actions, and as a bonus, it helps us avoid sin.  And I think we can all agree, the less sin, the better!

So, how does the truth about your purpose influence your behavior?