How We Move

What road do you travel?

Get to know two things about a man. How he earns his money and how he spends it. You will then have the clue to his character. You will have a searchlight that shows up the inmost recesses of his soul. You know all you need to know about his standards, his motives, his driving desires, his real religion. ~Robert James McCracken, D.D.

Some people move with motive. Others move with purpose. I see this unfold on a daily basis.

You might see motive and purpose as the same, but I see them entirely differently. I see motive filled with “selfish” desire while I feel purpose is a “selfless” direction one takes.  I think manipulation for a personal payoff is the means behind motive while purpose marches for the greater good of mankind.

I am skeptical of those who function with motive. They seem to have agendas. They always want to know what is in it for them. They plan strategies and carry them out with the goal of a reward. They are the focus of what they do. It is an ego thing.

Those who live with purpose seem to be following an inner calling, a knowing. They appear to be on a mission to help others while not expecting a payback. They are driven to do what they do from their hearts. It is often their destiny, not a stop on the journey. They carry out their duties with concern for others.

I used to think that desire and longing were the same. I now feel that desire is selfish while a longing comes from something much deeper. I think desire is more of wishful thinking while longing is an ache or craving that can not be relieved with material means. Maybe, motive stems with desire while purpose originates with a longing to fulfill providence.

I am not impressed with people who must brag incessantly about themselves. When they tell me how indispensable they are, I wonder if they are trying to convince me or themselves. I much prefer humbleness to superiority. I am of the school that actions speak louder than words. It is usually what remains untold that tells the tale.

I have always been a people watcher. I often wonder what makes them tick. I question why they choose to do and say the things they do. It’s often clear whether they operate from a place of love and compassion or anger and greed. I could be misinterpreting this entirely. I am voicing what I am watching in the world today. What is your operation of movement? What do you see and hear? Do you think there is a difference between motive and purpose? What about desire and longing? Am I reading too much into this? What are your thoughts?

34 thoughts on “How We Move

  1. Interesting you’d bring this up. I was just having this discussion this morning. Though my semantics were different. I used words like “helping people” and “folks with agenda”. I think many of us notice these distinctions.

    Interestingly, I found many selfish people at church, a place supposedly void of the selfish mongers. They seemed more interested in sorting out who was getting into heaven than solving problems like who was gonna eat tomorrow.

    • I know exactly where you are coming from , Rebecca. Have you ever heard the saying that going to church doesn’t make on any more a Christian than parking in your garage makes you a car? True, isn’t it.

      • This reminds me of something I heard, “man sees us doing things, God sees why we do them.” Jesus spoke of the Pharisees as being “white-washed tombs.” They looked good on the outside, but their insides were full of death and decay. I suppose there will always be those fitting that description in the church body, but it is not up to us to judge them; the best thing we can do is pray for them when God reveals that through discernment. He is the only One who can bring changes of heart.

      • I suppose they are in the church as well as everywhere. I wasn’t referring to the “churched” in this…society in general. Judgment is harsh, yet we do it anyway and all the more when we are close to the situation. Even when words aren’t spoken and we pray for them, we’ve already judged their actions in our own hearts or we wouldn’t be lifting the situation. I suppose we can each only lead our lives the best we can because we can’t control others.

  2. I like your distinction between selfish and selfless very much. It makes sense and one that I agree with wholeheartedly.

    I’ve known (and know) people in both courts. I must say that I prefer to hang with those with purpose. I just like their company better and feel better about myself when I with them! As always, you’ve got your finger on the pulse and transcribe it into beautiful reading material!

  3. The differences you point out are there, whatever terms used to describe them. Motives and purposes both may be either good or evil. A selfish desire or longing is different than an unselfish desire or longing, and an evil purpose differs from a good purpose.

    God gives the gift of discernment, which he has apparently given you. I pray to have this gift. We need it often in life. You are able to discern, or discriminate, or detect, the character or essence of motive or purpose in another that not everyone senses.

    Your photo of the path through the woods is inspiring beyond words. Blessings to you, Suzi…

    • I’m glad you like the pic. I took it at a state park last Sunday. I go there all the time and take pics in the very same places yet I never cease to see something new!

  4. I think you hit the nail on the head:

    “I see motive filled with “selfish” desire while I feel purpose is a “selfless” direction one takes. I think manipulation for a personal payoff is the means behind motive while purpose marches for the greater good of mankind.”

    Recently, a blogger claimed to have a selfless purpose:

    “Taking this into deep consideration, I have decided that, from today on, I am no longer maintaining this blog just for me–I am maintaining it for you, too.”

    But soon the EGO made an appearance:

    “In fact, I want to make this blog BIGGER and stretch its influence WIDER so that my compassion and love reaches far MORE people. I am going to work HARDER so that MORE writers feel empowered, inspired, and motivated to write and live life to its fullest. I want to ensure that more of them receive the necessary tools they need to write better and to live a happier and healthier life.”

    Why am I so sure he was driven by Selfish Motives and not Selfless Purpose?

    Easy . . . he asked for MONEY.

    As soon as he did, he stopped sounding like Mother Teresa and started sounding like a TV Infomercial. 🙂

  5. I have to agree with your opinions on motive versus purpose, and desire versus longing.

    I think when I was younger, I lived more with motive and desire, because I believed that I had to go after what I wanted to make it happen. However, now that I’m older, I live more with purpose and longing because I realize it’s no longer about MAKING it happen, but rather ALLOWING it to happen.

    Another wonderful post, Suzi! Thank you, my friend!


      • Thanks. I had a problem with wordpress one day. My views went fro 25 to over 250 in over 90 minutes and kept rising. I tried to contact wordpress and did not get an answer. I didn’t know if there had been a security breach or what so I deleted it. The new one is named Change is Never Ending

  6. Hummm. I guess it depends how you use those words. I use “motive” to describe what pushes someone to reach a goal, whether the reason is selfish or selfless and weather the goal is good or bad. So, to me, motive means there is a clear end goal and the goal is the focus, not the motivation. Whereas, I tend to use “purpose” when the reason behind reaching the goal is more important than the goal iteself. (Not sure if that made any sense at all!)

  7. I appreciate the juxtposition between purpose and motive. I believe you can quickly figure out those who are always focused on motive – their lives and their words seem to be less authentic.

  8. Hmmmm. I guess I don’t think of “motive” as being a selfish desire. I think maybe “A” motive can be a selfish desire, but I don’t think that ALL motives are selfish. I think that people can be motivating. They can motivate you to be better. You can be motivated to do good and take care of things. I don’t think of it as selfish, but I could see how you might see someone’s motives as selfish.

    I guess I don’t really think much of “purpose”. I guess I don’t think much of “purpose” because I associate “purpose” with religion. People becoming monks and nuns because that is their “purpose” in life.

    I don’t think of desire as selfish. But I do think of longing as a deeper desire that one has for a long time.

    I don’t know if you are reading too much into “this” whatever this may be, but I DO think that writers in general tend to think a lot. As I read other writer’s blogs, sometimes I think, “Hmm . . . wow.” I also think that visiting with certain people makes one think a lot. . . . 🙂

    • We all have different perceptions and even those change throughout our lives….mine certainly have. I used to think of purpose as religion, now I can see it in that context and actually as something much bigger.

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