What would you say are the best ways to motivate people to change, to do their best, or to accomplish specific goals? At work, a sense of accomplishment, feeling appreciated, and a salary, all impact an employee’s motivation level. At home, a sense of shared goals, a cooperative spirit, and defined responsibilities can inspire family members. In the world of education, athletics or the arts, the idea of self-improvement or expression, competition, or the thrill of accomplishment or success can bring people the energy and enthusiasm to do amazing things. One of the enormous challenges for parents, employers, and leaders is to discover what will actually help to motivate individuals because everyone responds in his/her own unique way to incentives that are offered to them.
From the beginning of time, God knew what would inspire the ones that He had created. He walked with them and He talked with them and He shared His deep love for them in that garden setting. When sin entered the world, their lives changed, but God did not. Throughout time God has deeply loved the world. He expressed that love in a visible and tangible way by sending His Only Son, Jesus. He didn’t stop there. That Son would be the means by which He could forgive their sinful behavior and their rebellion and bring them back into an intimate and loving relationship with Him. It’s a love that is far bigger than our mind can comprehend or our emotions can fully experience – Ephesians 3: 14 – 19. It is that love that, beyond all other human experience, will reach down into the hearts of a person and forever change his/her life.
Knowing this creates a freedom for Paul to clarify some of the changes that God wants to make in the minds and lives of His beloved children. He does not want them to have a new list of commandments or rules or simply unattainable demands, but rather such a deep sense of God’s love that the deepest desire of their hearts will be to “let the Spirit make them new in the attitude of their minds”. Is there any greater incentive than to be loved and to love?