What’s in it for Me?

“What’s in it for me?”

I know this question crosses my mind…often.

Sometimes, the answer to this question will win as the deciding factor of whether I serve.  

It is all too easy to rationalize that I need to benefit somehow, especially when I already feel pulled in every direction. 

But, the hard truth is that Jesus didn’t say, help if you feel like it or aren’t otherwise feeling busy. He said, give, serve, be…love as I have loved. 

TRUTH = Even knowing that Christ called me to serve, on my best day, I still need motivated. 

And depending on that motivation to help and serve, and give, and be like Jesus… I often come out needing a heart-check because my motivation is clearly selfish. I don’t want to look bad, or it’s expected or… _________. 

Paul tells us straight up that selfish ambition does not please Jesus. 

Philippians 2:3-4 (NET)

“Instead of being motivated by selfish ambition or vanity, each of you should, in humility, be moved to treat one another as more important than yourself. Each of you should be concerned not only about your own interest, but the interest of others as well.”

So, what’s my motivation? (If you are a Newsboys fan, you’re welcome for now having their song, SHINE, playing in your head. 😀 )

My favorite line from the song is,

“The truth is in the proof when you hear your heart start asking,

What’s my motivation?”

It is either to please the Lord and further His Kingdom, or it’s to please mankind and look like a godly woman. It can’t be both, so where’s my heart? 

When my heart’s right, my motivation’s right. 

Proverbs 27:19

“As in water face reflects face, so the heart of man reflects man.”

Instead of “What’s in it for me,” here’s what I should be asking:

  • What do I have to offer? 
  • How can others benefit from my involvement?
  • How has God equipped me for this moment?
  • What can I do to bring glory and honor to Jesus Christ?

Please know that’s it’s ok to say no. I have definitely learned the hard way that “no” is a great word when used appropriately. 

But the big question is, what’s my motivation for saying yes or no…where’s my heart?



Susan E. Greenwood is a wife, a mother, and a mother-in-law :D. She has over 28 years experience in youth and children’s ministries. Susan loves to write blogs, articles, devotionals, and curriculum. She has blogged for bible.org, and authors Mary Demuth, Lynn Cowell and Ruth Schwenk. Susan writes regularly for skitguys.com. Her passion is to help people live their Life In Stride with the Word of God

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