Your Motives Determine the Quality of Your Work - The Warrior's Journey®

Your Motives Determine the Quality of Your Work

Author: The Warrior's Journey Team, Team

1000w_q95. Photo by The U.S. Army is licensed under CC By 2.0

Toshihiko Hosaka is probably the greatest sand-sculptor in the world. For the sheer size, detail, and beauty of his works, this Japanese artist stands head and shoulders above every other artist today. Whether it’s a life-size sculpture of a Tyrannosaurus Rex or a portrait of a famous Samurai, his labors are always masterpieces.

There’s just one problem with his work. They’re all made of wet sand – and nothing else. This means that they begin to crumble before he can finish them – despite the fact that Hosaka works incredibly fast. Therefore, Hosaka has to do what all competing sand-sculptors are permitted to do. Once he has formed a portion of his giant statue, he sprays it with an adhesive which holds the sand in place until he finishes it. But even with this adhesive, his massive statues only last a few days. After two or three days they begin to disintegrate. There’s no lack of talent and effort in his work. The problem lies with the material he uses. It simply doesn’t last.

All of us are sculptors. We sculpt a life. With every deed we are shaping a work of art.

We may be amazingly talented and work harder than anyone else. We may create phenomenal works of art. But the material we use in our sculptures will determine how long they last. If the motives behind our labors are nothing more than the desire for material wealth and the recognition of earthly supervisors, peers, and subordinates, then the material we work with might as well be sand, wax, or ice before the fury of the sun’s rays. Everything we do is doomed to destruction and will never survive the fiery test of Christ’s judgment seat.

But if we sculpt with the motives of love for God and a love and care for our fellow human beings, then the material of our works will be like high-stress concrete, granite, or titanium steel. They will endure forever and survive the scrutiny of Christ. Our motives, whether pure or polluted, will decide whether we build our lives with durable granite or shifting sand.

Listen to what the Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians. “Anyone who builds … may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward.  But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames” (1 Corinthians 3:12-15, NLT).

And later he wrote, “If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing.  If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:1-3, NLT).

Let motives of love for God and others – rather than for the praises or rewards of people – be the medium with which you build.


PRAYER: Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. Amen. (Psalm 139:23-24, NLT)


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