Whether our actions bring us personal comfort or sorrow becomes irrelevant when we’re committed to doing everything solely for the purpose of God’s pleasure.
Brother Lawrence (The Brother Lawrence Collection: Practice and Presence of God was determined to be “governed by love, without selfish views; and that having resolved to make the love of God the end of all his actions, he had found reasons to be well satisfied with his method. That he was pleased when he could take up a straw from the ground for the love of GOD, seeking Him only, and nothing else, not even His gifts.”
I’m struck by the purity of the challenge to be motivated solely by our love for God regardless of any benefit or cost to us. Can I really do what pleases God without consideration for whether it brings me pleasure or pain; whether it simplifies my life or complicates it; whether it builds my reputation or hurts it; whether it keeps me safe or brings me harm? To have my every action motivated by the love of God and not by my personal benefit seems like the very definition of “victory” in the spiritual battleground of this life. And it requires tremendous faith and confidence in God’s love to let go and trust God with our consequences.
Unfortunately, I’m not capable of that level of selflessness. But to have that purity of motivation is a gift worth being sought from the only source that could ever provide it…