“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” -Psalms 51:17, ESV
If I'm honest, sometimes I look to do the right thing not out of a moral or ethical motivation, but rather from a place of selfishness and pride. Even if it'll require some sort of sacrifice, that I'll feel better, or even that others may notice - if I'm truly honest - can be enough of a driver at times.
However, these motivations are no different than the sacrifices that the Israelities, found here in the Old Testament, occasionally offered. Sometimes, their sacrifice came not from a place of sincere desire to seek God or be obedient to His commands. Rather, motivated by selfish desire to be (or at least to be perceived as being) more righteous or more holy, sacrifices were occasionally offered... I mean, we all know how to put on the show right?
The truth here is that God cares about our motivations. As leaders especially, we need to be mindful of what and why we do the things we do. Are we motivated from a sincere place to serve those in our care? Are our decisions and actions undergirded by a heart for others, or are we simply trying to achieve so that we will be acknowledged? God requires a more pure sacrifice; one that comes from a place that acknowledges our imperfections and that sincerely longs to serve Him and love those around us.
Lord, help us to have broken spirits before you today. Break our pride. Break our selfish desire. Forgive us for our impure motivations, and help us to live and love more like you today. In Jesus name I pray, amen!