My Dear Parishioners,
As Christians, we need to put God first in everything. This will mean that we have to deny ourselves, and that is something which does not come naturally to us as human beings. However, in Christ such a life is possible. We have just come out of Diocesan Synod with the stress being on the stewardship of time, talents and treasure. Indeed we need to give God the Lordship of all of our life, and therefore, seek to live obedient, selfless lives in which God and his Will take precedence over ourselves and our wills (Luke 9:23). Outside of God, people gain meaning from: accomplishing worthwhile tasks; achieving goals and completing jobs that they have started; meeting self-imposed standards; developing satisfying relationships with other people; exercising power over and manipulating other people, and so to some extent being instrumental in changing those people and the world; and making enough money to get the things they need and want in life.
Christians have these sources of motivation operating to some extent in their lives, but God wants us to be different. As Christians, we need to understand what motivates us and, further, we need to know how to stay motivated 100% of the time by the right things, so that we can serve our Lord effectively and fruitfully. Our purpose and meaning and, therefore, our life should revolve around God and our relationship with him. Everything we do should be because He wants it and because we love Him. So first and foremost we must become motivated people.
Such people are willing people and a good examples of a willing group of people can be seen when the children of Israel brought their offerings for the building of the tabernacle of the Lord. Here the people had to be restrained from bringing more, because they were so willing to give. Why is it that these people were so willing? The answer is simply that God and his work had captivated the hearts of these people. They stopped grumbling, and instead, became willing motivated people.
Without a doubt, motivated people want to get the job done. It’s a motivation which propels them into action. Thus the stronger the motivation, , the more sacrificial of time, money and energy they will be. Actually, highly motivated people will be determined to get the job done, even in the face of strong opposition. Such people usually achieve much in life. Any Christian who really wishes to serve the Lord more effectively should aim at developing the characteristics of highly motivated persons. This means that we should take ourselves in hand, and live a disciplined godly life which seeks to put God and his will first. Every Christian must set goals for his life and plan strategies to achieve those goals. Such a person must seek to excel in everything done for God. They do not wear themselves out, or suffer from ‘burn out’, nor are they lazy, because they have achieved a balance in life which helps them to live purposefully and productively. They also make sure that they do not neglect any area of their life. In fact, they do not let the sun go down on their anger towards another person without first forgiving , because they know that the bitterness and grudge-bearing which would result outside of forgiveness , would destroy their motivation and their effectiveness for God. (Ephesians 4:26,27; James 1: 19,20.).
They have an optimistic approach to life, believing that all challenges are solvable in God.
True at times, discouragement sets in, but generally that does not lead to permanent depression nor persistent poverty of spirit. Whereas the pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity, the optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty; which makes them tackle tough jobs differently. This makes optimists live a happy fulfilling life, because they are willing to be creative and to use their imagination in what they do with their time and effort. They are receptive to new ideas and are interested in people, and new knowledge. Further, they have a sense of direction for their lives and can catch a hold of the vision of God in the good decisions they make. May each one of us find such as life of honesty and integrity
With all good wishes and prayers Archdeacon Val