I love those beautiful motivation posters that I’ve seen in executives’ offices, but I recently ran across some “Failed Motivation Posters” that made me LOL:
- Eagles may soar, but weasels don’t get sucked into jet engines.
- A person who smiles in the face of adversity probably has a scapegoat.
- Never put off until tomorrow what you can avoid altogether.
- Teamwork means never having to take all the blame yourself.
- Never underestimate the power of very stupid people in large groups.
- Aim low… Reach your goals… Avoid disappointment.
- Doing the job right the first time gets the job done; doing the job wrong 14 times gives you job security!
I saw one motivational poster that said, “If a pretty poster and a cute saying are all it takes to motivate you, you probably have a very easy job. The kind robots will be doing (it) soon.”
I laughed at another motivational poster about exercise. The picture in the poster was of a 24 Hour Fitness … but on both sides of the steep staircase to the front door were escalators! Right… that’s motivation.
True motivation is powerful, but it always amazes me what motivates people.
I’ve been thinking a lot about motivation lately, because good leaders need to motivate, and I am learning what that means. I know what motivates my dog Roscoe ~ food! If I want him to do ANYthing, I simply dangle a bit of food in front of his nose.
But motivating people is more complex. What might motivate one person might not motivate another. For some, it is achievement. For others, it is acquisition. Some are motivated by praise. Others relish a challenge. I’m motivated when I feel I’m making a difference.
As I’ve looked through the Word of God, there are verses about lack of motivation, but also some helpful scriptures that motivate us to do more and be more for the Kingdom of God.
For instance, Proverbs 14:23 tells us there is profit in working, but merely talking about work leads to poverty. We need to get motivated and get busy!
There’s the motivation that comes from the flesh, and motivation that comes from living according to eternal standards. 1 Corinthians 9:25 (ESV) says, “Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath [crown, reward], but we, an imperishable.”
One of the powerful motivators of scripture is in Deuteronomy 6:5 (ESV): “You shall love the lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” In Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV), there is motivation for courage: “Be strong and courageous… the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
And another, in the New Testament, encourages a God-honoring lifestyle: “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31 NIV). We are motivated to live for God, rather than the praise of people (Colossians 3:23).
We are motivated by the sufficiency of our God to strengthen us (Philippians 4:13; Isaiah 40:31), and meet our needs (Luke 12:29-30). We are motivated to know that God will direct us (Psalm 37:23-24) and give us meaningful work to do (Ephesians 2:10; Philippians 2:13). We are motivated because, in Christ, we are overcomers! (John 16:33).
So how do we prepare to be motivated? (It doesn’t just happen.)
Our greatest Motivation Preparation is to know the Word of God, and especially these powerful scriptures that give us direction and strength.
The Bible says, “… the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits” (Daniel 11:32b, NKJV). Our motivation and ability to do great things is directly tied to our knowing God in an intimate way, and we know Him in prayer and by meditating on His Word.
Does the Word of God motivate you? What are your most motivating scriptures?