December 11, 2012

“For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?” Mark 8:36

I read this quote, ascribed to Dr. Robert H. Schuller:

“The only place where a dream becomes impossible is in your own thinking.”

I about gagged on this giant lard of wishful thinking nonsense.  It is just not true.

American IdolI sing horribly flat.  It is an impossible dream for me to be the next American Idol.  My thinking is not what is limiting my vocal career.

However, there is a deeper attitude in this type of positive-thinking plea that troubles me.

Just think about what the motivational speaker is selling.

If you just achieve your goal then you will be fulfilled and happy.

There is a premise built into messages that our happiness is limited by unfulfilled dreams. The gospel preached by motivational speakers is that the highest aspiration to achieve is the attainment of your dreams – being all that you can be.

That is a horrible thing to encourage.   It is not true.  My happiness is not limited by the fact that I have not achieved all my dreams – that I have not lived up to my potential. In Christ, I can be joyful in all circumstances.  That truth makes “being the best me” as the fountain of happiness an unworthy dream.

It is a false gospel.

 Motivation is a tool; not a destination. The most important aspect of motivation is that it propels us in a direction. Being very motivated to pursue a dream straight to hell is a horrible thing. The destination is what matters.  What your dreams are is what matters; not how you obtain them.

What if you obtain all of your dreams but you forfeit your life?

Motivational speakers should encourage us toward the right dreams.  We should be more concerned with what our dreams are then on how to obtain them.  All dreams are not created equally. We can waste our lives chasing the chaff of worthless dreams.

This is what our dreams should include:

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Mark 8:34

If your dreams do not include being a worthy and faithful servant then beware of what you are motivated to gain.

PRAYER: Lord, You are the only one that I should be motivated to pursue. Forgive me for chasing unworthy dreams. Forgive me for over-valuing myself and my dreams in comparison to your surpassing worth. Father, change my heart so that my dreams are worthy of the calling that you have given me. Create in me a pure heart that can see this world for what it is and desire you more than anything else.    Amen


  1. Well said. Here is another selection of verses:

    Matthew 6:19-21
    Do not store up riches for yourselves here on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and robbers break in and steal. 20 Instead, store up riches for yourselves in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and robbers cannot break in and steal. 21 For your heart will always be where your riches are.

    • Great verse that ties is so well. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. […] MOTIVATED FOR WHAT? – Dec. 11th. […]

  3. This is an awesome insight to what is a Truth- I can sing and have been able to from my childhood, but I heard in my spirit one day at the age of 12 or so that I was to be a worshiper? I rejected this idea for the Bible spoke of worship being done 24/7 non stop and that did not appeal to me at all. A church song here and there was okay, but for the most part as a child, it was boring. I am not stage material, I freeze at the thought of all those eyes looking at me and expecting perfection. I was put in the area of church groups small one building up to large ones and this was so stressful to me that I was just not happy and sought to sing away from everyone. I would go the woods behind my house just to be able to release what was in me, so that I could find some peace. I was given songs that had not been written or that were new to me and these I enjoyed. After many years of this and other failures in my life at age 36 I decided this life was not for me and I took a gun to my head. I was alone at home, a married women with 2 sons and nothing was going the way my dreams was suppose to play out. In my eyes, I had failed at everything. I knew that taking my life was wrong, so I looked out the bedroom window with gun to my head and prayed, “Father GOD? I know what I am going to do is not pleasing to you, but I cannot do this life. I have messed up everything and now my family would be better without my failures, please forgive me. I just can’t keep doing this—the next thing I remember is hearing a door open and footsteps coming toward me. It was my husband, he came in the bedroom and I was lying across the bed and the gun on the opposite end of the bed. I am only 5′ tall and our bed was a king size so I could not have just passed out and the gun get there? My husband took one look and went to get the gun, he looked at me and said, “It does not take a rocket scientist to figure this out, I am sorry, I did not know what was going on with you.” He held me while I tried to make sense out of all this. After he went into the other room to let me compose myself, I asked The Lord what happened, why am I still here? He said, “I can now use you, you have taken your life and you are a dead person walking. The life you tried did not work, but the plan that I have for you is now here for you to receive. All you need to do is be with ME, The Holy Spirit will show you what you are to do, just be “WHAT I HAVE CALLED YOU AND ASSIGNED YOU TO BE”!!! Now, many years later I worship HIM with all that I have and it matters not if there is one person or many or none at all!! I LIVE FOR HIS PURPOSE AND PLAN AND LIFE IS AN ADVENTURE EVERYDAY! I HAVE A FRONT ROW SEAT TO SEE JESUS AND HIS FATHER WITH THE INFILLING OF THE HOLY GHOST, HARD AT WORK TO SEE WHO HE CAN TOUCH AND LOVE!!!
    Thank you again for the words of truth:

    “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Mark 8:34

    Blessings in abundance!!!

    • Thank you so much for sharing your testimony. I love to hear how God reaches out and touch us went we are at our lowest and weakest.
      God Bless!

  4. Reblogged this on servehiminthewaiting and commented:
    Amen! That nonsense (“if you can dream it, you can do it, if you believe, you will achieve”) has generated a lot of money for the big networks, though. People like me tune in more for the early eliminated contestants, people who clearly have zero talent, getting on tv and making fools of themselves before millions of people, lol. It is brainwashing, and actually it is sad because how many people despair when they have believed with all their heart, and still failed because they were trying to be something they weren’t equipped to be”, and are shattered by it?

  5. I love this post! I have had this particular verse in my head for a few days (For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?” Mark 8:36). This has really spoke to me. Thank you. Have a blessed day.

    • I am so glad this spoke to you. Thanks for the encouragement.

      • You are so welcome!! God Bless You!!!

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