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I Can Do All Things Through Christ

Self-help programs designed to stir us up to action are now being produced for almost every type of human function or desire.  Language learning, weight loss, physical fitness, learning a new job skill, or getting one’s college degree….all are advertised by a person or company that “supposedly” has found the secret to do “this” (whatever this may be) in very simple steps that does not take much time, cost much money, and the results are miraculous!  Why are these ads so successful?

The marketing company knows how to motivate us to action.  The needs that the company presents hits a wide cross-section of people.  The images displayed on the screen are filled with ordinary people that begin to look happier, healthier, and more fulfilled.  When the news is given to the viewer that the time and cost commitment are very minimal compared to the stupendous results, the viewer becomes a buyer and the company is successful in its campaign. Who doesn’t want to be fit, financially successful, and look like a photo from a magazine cover?

Motivation is the secret to doing everything.  We are motivated (maybe not “highly motivated”, but motivated) to rise early, get dressed, and go to work daily.  Motivation is the catalyst that pushes us to meet deadlines of all kinds.  The mirror is a motivator to encourage us to refrain from eating desserts and carbs and to make sure to exercise “NOW”!

Sometimes there are negative motivators that are also highly successful.  A hot fire motivates us to stay clear of its flames knowing the extreme pain that will result if we are burned.  That same heat that comes from the sun and feels so good when one is one the beach can cause great blisters if we stay too long so we move from the beach before that happens.

And, extreme motivation can push us to do things we did not think we could do.  A Marine Corps Drill Sergeant can push recruits to physical and mental strength capacities to make them stronger than they would have believed they could be.  The same is true of coaches, trainers for muscular strength or physical disciplines that seemed to be “too hard” but are now a part of one’s life.

A man often walked through a cemetery on his way home. One night, though, unaware that a new grave had been dug in his path, he tumbled in. For some time he struggled to get out of the seven foot deep grave, but finally gave up and settled down for the night.  An hour later, a farmer out possum hunting came walking through the cemetery and he too fell into the grave. He began a desperate attempt to get out, unaware that there was anyone else in the grave. The first man listened to him for a few minutes, then reached over in the pitch darkness and laid a hand on his shoulder. “You can’t get out of here,” he said… but he did. (Copied).

Paul summed up his personal motivation in one verse, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil.4:13).