October 17, 2016
Lots of people know; only a few know why.
Every generation has been defined by discovery… but our generation has pushed the pursuit to levels never before imagined.
In 1965, Gordon Moore – co-founder of both Fairchild Semiconductor and Intel – predicted that the capacity of the microchip would double every two years (he was right). During the same period, the expansion of human knowledge – computed across all cultures and specialty studies – has exploded at the same rate. No generation in history has known as much as ours…
So, if knowledge is expanding exponentially, why isn’t life becoming better at the same breakthrough rate? We know more than we’ve ever known, and we’ll know more tomorrow than we know today; can we expect the experience of life – for everyone, everywhere – to align with that rise?
Here’s our problem: we know more than we’re doing. Why would we be capable of so much, and settle for so little?
Lou Holtz – legendary coach and commentator on life – observes: “Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do.” Zig Ziglar marketed his words as incentives for enhanced performance. He put it this way: “Motivation is the fuel necessary to keep the human engine running.”
Lou and Zig were part of a long line of voices who recognized that the final exam in school is quite different than the final exam in life: in the classroom, the emphasis was – exclusively – on knowing. Life demands more: unless you know why doing is crucial, educated failures are likely.
Hear Paul’s personal perspective; listen for the motivations he offers as the why of life:
“So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart. If we are ‘out of our mind,’ as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view.” (2 Corinthians 5:9-16)
Paul knew that there was a final exam for believers, and that made his goal of pleasing God the only reasonable pursuit. What motivations did he recognize as crucial to the mission?
First: “we know what it is to fear the Lord.” If falling short of His Calling doesn’t frighten you, you’ll never get started: “Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” (Proverbs 9:10)
Next: “each of us may receive what is due us.” The New Testament promises of eternal rewards have been redacted in most discipleship training. Big news: rewards await those who worked on God’s Kingdom purposes – instead of their own – by faith, in this life. Get over it… and get on with it.
Last: “Christ’s love compels us.” If God loved you enough to send Jesus to die, do you love Him enough to live for Him? That’s not a Sunday School banner; it’s a lifestyle of passionate service.
Stop learning; you know enough, already. Start doing… and fill your motivation tank with the high-octane fuel that put Paul in the fast-lane of His Calling!