Evil Motives

Are you adhering to the wisdom of this world? Do you follow the crowd when it comes to gaining understanding? Is your desire for wisdom selfish ambition? Have you considered where your desire for wisdom is coming from?

Most of us desire to know more. We want to learn new things, understand more, and ultimately gain wisdom. The gaining of knowledge and wisdom can be generated from either good or bad motives.

If our desire to gain knowledge and wisdom is out of selfish ambition, it is evil. That may sound harsh. You may ask, “What’s wrong with trying to better myself?” The wrong comes from the genesis of our pursuit. When we study and strive for wisdom for personal gain, we are being selfish. If our goal is to simply to make more money to buy more stuff, we are being selfish. Hording knowledge to get ahead of someone else is a result of envy and selfishness. These reasons are evil. In other words, we have fallen prey to the devil’s tricks and traps. We have allowed him to misguide us.

On the other hand, if our desire for knowledge and wisdom is to serve others, better know God, understand what others are going through and show mercy, and to bring peace to this world, our desire is coming from God. Our reason for acquiring education and information is the indicator of where it comes from.

When we get to the root of it, there are only two possibilities for our desire—good or evil. Good can only come from God. Evil comes from the devil. We can state many reasons. We can fool ourselves. But as we dive deeper into the reason and get to the bottom of it, we are acting out of the good in our heart or evil desires.

We don’t like thinking in these terms. We like to think there is a large swath of reasons and decisions in this life that have nothing to do with good or evil. Unfortunately, that is also a trick the devil uses to keep us from being fully committed to God. Every decision, every choice, and even every word comes down to being generated out of good or evil.

I pray we all spend time evaluating our hearts. I pray we look deeply into why we chase after knowledge and wisdom. I pray each one of us will start seeing each decision and choice is based on good or evil. Choose good. Choose the wisdom of God. Ask God to guide you every moment of the day. Ask God to reveal your motives.

James 3:14-16 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

Published by martypressey

Marty is a Pastor, retired Marine and dedicated Christian who has taught adult Bible classes and preached for 20 years. He currently serves as pastor of 3 United Methodist Churches. He believes being well-grounded in the Scriptures is key to living a better life. He brings a layman’s viewpoint to all his classes and sermons, helping others understand how to apply Scripture to their daily lives. When he sees others understand the message of a particular passage, it brings him great joy. He has seen his faith increase exponentially over the years; fully believing God has a plan and is executing it. He feels blessed to be part of that plan.

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