Own Your Why

Erik Cooper —  May 17, 2012 — Leave a comment

Why is it so hard to be honest? The truth is freeing. Being known and loved as we really are is one of the deepest longings of our soul. But it’s also, by far, the most difficult to embrace.

Three months ago we sold our house. I shared the bulk of this gut-wrenching process as we Pepto-Bismol-ed our way through each terrifying day. We were gearing for an epic life change, but in the end we decided to buy a house just up the road from where we’ve always lived. Why?

  1. Our families are close by.
  2. Our kids’ school is just up the road.
  3. We like it here.

It’s really that simple. But when a group of my peers asked me about the decision last month, my instinctive reaction was almost comical.

  1. We want to house missionaries and homeless people in our new basement.
  2. We felt sorry for the owner who needed a quick buyer to help him avoid bankruptcy.
  3. God commanded us to.

I never actually said any of those things, but I sure wanted to. I wanted to add some spiritual or moral “umph” to what really ended up being a rather mundane and practical decision. But I feared my true motivation wouldn’t be good enough for some of you, and my pride was longing for some inspirational story of epic sacrifice, so my insecurity and sin began to manufacture some “spice.”

What if we owned our why’s? The real ones.

Look, our motivations are screwy. Selfish. They beg for tension and challenge. But God’s mercy and grace collides with who we really are, not who we project ourselves to be. I think avoiding our true motives trades the opportunity for real transformation for a self-serving imposter.

And here’s another kicker – mundane and practical isn’t necessarily wrong. Your motivation might not be unholy, it might just be boring. Be careful about your desire to make everything appear epic. That might be pride. (Hand up. Guilty). The question is, “are you obedient?” Not “will your story have people talking?”

Contend for honesty. Even if your motives are questionable. Even if your why makes you seem more normal than your ego can stand. Own it.

Do you agree? Is there a “why” you’re refusing to own?

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