[Exceedingly Enough:] Why Do We Do What We Do?

I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.’

(John 5:30 ESV)

If you’re interested in a humbling exercise, grab a pen and a notebook. As the day goes on, write a check mark for every decision you make. Here’s the catch: differentiate each mark by whether your decision was primarily motivated by a desire to please yourself or by a desire to please God.

If you’re anything like me, one side of your notebook will wind up with a bit more ink on it than it’s neighboring side. And it’s not the side I would have hoped for.


Though the concept of such an exercise is rather basic, what it reveals is profound. For, by the simple stroke of a pen, we are made to realize the overwhelming selfish autonomy of our hearts.

In stark contrast to our own inherent evil, John’s fifth chapter gives us a glimpse into Jesus’ good heart. Here, He shows us the perfect example of living a godly life solely motivated by obeying, serving, and glorifying God. Put simply, in John 5:30 Christ essentially states,

I don’t care about doing what I want to do. All I care about doing is what God wants me to do.”

Jesus lived the greatest life of any man that ever set foot on this planet. His decisions have reverberated throughout history and radically transformed the lives of countless people from every nation, tongue, gender, race, social status, and time period.

The older I get, the shorter life seems. It’s obvious that a life lived for nothing but narrow selfishness is meaningless and hurtful to others. The only life that has the potential to radically impact the world around us is the humble one that emulates Jesus and seeks to please God above all else.

May we consistently and intentionally follow Christ’s example and cast aside ourselves in order to please God with our lives, pursuing His glory instead of our own.

For more devotional posts from Brett, consider:

Or, listen to the Exceedingly Enough podcast for a quick source of encouragement and inspiration to you throughout your day.

Available on iTunes

Image Source: Eric via Flickr

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