Do It for Them
“Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.”1
Motivation to do or not do something is a curious thing. There are many factors that influence motivation. We can be motivated by the fear of injury or illness. Motivation can also take the form of pleasure and fulfillment. Some are motivated by greed while others are motivated by selflessness; and so on. Sometimes, therefore, it is difficult not only to find the right motivational idea or emotion, but it can also be misunderstood as to which factor actually motivated the action you desired to take place.
“On a Western Airlines flight to San Francisco, fried chicken tycoon Col. Harland Sanders, 89, had made himself agreeable to staff and fellow passengers, then dropped his chin to his narrow black tie and closed his eyes. Somewhere in the back of the plane a child had been shrieking for some time. One flight attendant told another helplessly, ‘I’ve tried candy, books and games, but nothing seems to make any difference.’
‘I’ve got to speak to that child,’ said the colonel. He rose to his feet and, with the aid of his cane, made his way back. The staff watched and shrugged, as if to say, ‘What can he do?’
When the colonel came back, not long afterward, his charm had produced a minor miracle. There was only the sound of chatter, newspapers, and china. The flight attendant came up to him and said, ‘Thank you for helping us, Colonel.’
‘I didn’t do it for you,’ he replied. ‘I did it for the child.’ And he closed his eyes again and settled down.”2
When we are intent upon improving our communication skills one with another, there is one very important factor to consider. What is the motivating factor behind why we desire to do so? Is it merely to make life easier for us, avoiding disagreements and, therefore, reserving more time for pleasure and peace in our lives? Or are we motivated by something much more meaningful and fulfilling than self-fulfillment?
Whether we are teaching, giving a word of encouragement, or we are having those sometimes-difficult conversations which include differences of opinion, let our words be spoken in love and with the ultimate goal of bringing others closer to Christ.
Suggested prayer: Dear God, please give me wisdom in the way I communicate with others. Help my motivation always be in line with Your will and plan. In anything I do and say, may others be drawn closer to you. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Helen Dewar, Reader’s Digest.
All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.