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We’re a mix bag of motivations. While part of us genuinely seeks to do good for others, we’re often still motivated by our own self-interest. But however true, our growth calls for us to learn to give with no strings attached – giving freely in love and not merely serving our own ego.

Perhaps we buy a friend a cup of coffee or cook a meal for our wife. Or maybe we volunteer for a project at work or make a financial donation to a local ministry.

These are all good things. And we’re often motivated by a true desire to serve. But often hidden motivations are also mixed in.

For example, beneath the desire to serve might also be a desire for recognition, appreciation, or simply reciprocation.

And these are not bad desires. But unchecked they can taint the good we’re trying to do – unwittingly attaching the strings of self-interest to our efforts.

This often feels like manipulation to the other. While something good is being offered on the surface, they sense it also comes at the price of serving our ego.

And for our part, resentment is a clue there are strings attached to our efforts.

Our heart motivations are clearly out of balance when we get angry and vindictive because others don’t respond to our efforts as we think they should.

To be sure, disappointment is only natural when our desires are not met. But this is no excuse to cheapen our efforts of love.

Ideally, our love is free with no strings attached. But even as we have mixed motivations we can practice keeping our desires in check as we serve the good of the other.

Let your good come from the best part of who you are with no strings attached.

Photo by Daniel Chekalov on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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