There are a host of reasons people do the good things they do:
- they feel like they have to (obligation)
- somebody pays them to do it (compensation)
- to make themselves look good (reputation)
- they’ve always done it (dedication)
- to get something in return (reciprocation)
- because it is fun (recreation)
- to lift someone else up (elevation)
The highest form of motivation for doing good is unconditional love. This is the way of Christ. When we love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength, and we love our neighbor as ourself, we will do everything in love.
1 Corinthians 16:14
14 Do everything in love.
In love, give to the Lord’s work. In 1 Corinthians 16, we see a financial need in one city that is met by people who live in a different city. Their common bond is faith in Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 16:1-3
1 Now about the collection for the saints: Do the same as I instructed the Galatian churches. 2 On the first day of the week, each of you is to set something aside and save in keeping with how he is prospering, so that no collections will need to be made when I come. 3 When I arrive, I will send with letters those you recommend to carry your gift to Jerusalem.
When we give through our local church today and our church then in turn uses those resources to help meet physical, emotional and spiritual needs in our city or across the world, we are following the teaching of God’s Word. Our motivation for giving should be love. When we realize how much God loves us and how much he has blessed us, we will want to give tithes and offerings to support his work locally and around the world.
In love, serve the Lord faithfully. Paul, Timothy and Apollos were three people who served the Lord faithfully and ministered to the Corinthian church. They shared the good news of Jesus with them, cared for them during difficult times, and taught them how to follow Jesus. They did these things out of love. When we love someone and serve the Lord faithfully, we have a desire to spend time with them, just as Paul describes to the Corinthians.
1 Corinthians 16:5-7
5 I will come to you after I pass through Macedonia — for I will be traveling through Macedonia— 6 and perhaps I will remain with you or even spend the winter, so that you may send me on my way wherever I go. 7 I don’t want to see you now just in passing, since I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord allows.
In love, encourage others who are serving the Lord. In the last few verses of 1 Corinthians, Paul mentions many people. Some of these folks are people from the church at Corinth who are faithfully serving the Lord. Others are people that send their greetings to the church at Corinth. Through the letter, Paul personally and publicly encourages these brothers and sisters in the faith.
1 Corinthians 16:15-18
15 Brothers and sisters, you know the household of Stephanas: They are the firstfruits of Achaia and have devoted themselves to serving the saints. I urge you 16 also to submit to such people, and to everyone who works and labors with them. 17 I am delighted to have Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus present, because these men have made up for your absence. 18 For they have refreshed my spirit and yours. Therefore recognize such people.
Perhaps the Lord would want you to take the time to send an email, write a letter, make a phone call, or make a social media post to encourage someone who is serving the Lord faithfully. Who could you encourage today?
Do everything in love.