Going Through the Motions

Ever find yourself just going through the motions? You’re doing what you’re suppose to do. You’re doing what others expect you to do. But you’re only doing it so others will think well of you.

Externally things look good, but internally things are not as good as they appear. You’re living behind the smoke screen of a good public persona, but it’s not really who you are.

We all find ourselves doing this occasionally, but when it’s the on-going rule of our life, it’s problematic. If you’re life is more about external activity than internal actuality, then you’re going through the motions.

Rather than going through the motions, we need to be growing through the motions. When you’re growing through the motions…

  • You’re more concerned with who you really are than who people think you are.
  • You’re more concerned with your growth than your acceptance.
  • You’re more concerned with your relationships than your reputation.
  • You’re more concerned with the person you’re becoming than the publicity you’re getting.

When you hold yourself up to this evaluation, how do you fare? Are you going through the motions more than growing through the motions? If you find yourself like the Wizard of Oz…lots of smoke and lightning on the outside, but behind the curtain, desperately turning knobs and levers so you won’t be found out…you’ve go some work to do.  

On another level…

We often think of politicians, athletes, and actors as people who are prone to going through the motions. But religious people are also susceptible to going through the motions.

In Isaiah 58, Scripture speaks of a people who are acting pious and religious in public, but out of the public eye they’re oppressing and short changing their workers. They’re fighting and quarreling. They’re making false accusations and spreading vicious rumors. In other words, they’re going through the motions. They’re doing “righteous” actions in public merely to be seen as righteous. (for more on this, check out Matt. 6:1.)

God certainly desires for His people do good deeds (Eph. 2:10), but He desires they do those good deeds out of a good heart (Matt. 7:17-20) and for the right reasons (Matt. 5:16.) In other words, we’re not to just go through the motions. We’re to grow through the motions.

Think of one area in your life where you’re simply going through the motions rather than growing through the motions. Think of an area of your life where your focus is on external perception more than internal condition. What do you need to do to turn that around? What would happen if you took one month and focused on that? How would that change your life for the better? What will you do?

Copyright © 2015 Bret Legg