Aug 20, 2022 filed under Humility, Living Virtue, Mercy, Trust.

mixed motives

The robin on the power-line outside my window touts a worm in its beak. It doesn’t eat the worm right away, but thrusts it out, hopping this way and that. Trying to impress a girl, I guess.

The worm will be dee-licious, but showing off comes first. Look at me! Look what a good provider I’ll be if you pick me for your mate!

Maybe we all do that sometimes — but it shouldn’t get us down.

When we do something good, like grabbing a paper cup from the sidewalk or helping someone with a door, we may realize later the pleasure we took in being seen doing it. Mixed motives like that used to bother me, like, can’t I just do one thing with a pure heart?

Well, no, I can’t. Our motives will always be mixed as long as we’re on this planet. It was so freeing to read that recently, so I’m passing it along.

Jesus isn’t keen on people doing good things just for the admiration. But if we discover that our best motives are tinged with a little pride, there’s no reason to dwell on it if our intent is to do something good. And when we realize the mixed motive, it’s a chance to ask God for more humility and generosity. Win-win.

After all, if we take pleasure in being seen helping someone out, we’ve just set a good example! And it’s actually a virtue to do things that are worthy of honor.

So I don’t stress about mixed motives any more. Learning what is virtuous and receiving daily the grace to live it out is the real victory.

Love always,

21 Responses to “Are Mixed Motives Okay?”

  1. Beverly

    Thank you Rose. I look forward to your inspiring words every week!

  2. Debbie

    Happy Lord’s Day Rose,
    Thank you always for your inspiring words. I too wondered if I was being prideful when doing a good deed for some one anywhere in public, but the thought of the example for others is what sets my thoughts of being prideful at ease. I acted from my heart by the Grace of God ✝️ ❤️
    I love the Gerber Daisys(?) and the Crabtree (?) on your walk, the beauty of nature.
    Thank you again Rose 🫂
    Have a great week as well ❤️

  3. Kathy Deen

    Boy, does that hit home! Thank you. This has been a struggle of mine…mixed motives. I’ll continue to strive to do good regardless of who sees me, but thanks for the assurance. I truly needed to hear and know that.
    Your words have been a blessing.

  4. Diane Upham

    Beautifully written! Thank you so much for your explanation!!

  5. Ellen

    Thank you for the uplifting words! I often concern myself about “ mixed motives,” but your words really helped me feel better about good deeds and my motives!! Blessings for a wonderful week!!

  6. Mary Anderson

    Thanks Rose!
    Your reflections are like a sparkling jewel in a Kings crown 👑

  7. Anne Gordon

    I have become anxious many times about the very same thing, Rose. I wonder if there is some vanity in my actions. I’ve been thinking about it a lot. And now you have set me free. Thank you so much Rose. Once again it’s like you can see inside my spirit. Have a wonderful week.

  8. Ellen

    You give me a lot to think about, Rose. I too try to be humble and avoid looking for praise or thanks or recognition. However, I do feel those sneaky feelings of envy or irritation when others are recognized for things I have done. I feel badly when Those feelings creep up on me.

  9. Tom Roberts

    It’s item six of John XXIII’s Decalogue titled “Only for today.” It reads “Only for today, I will do one good deed and not tell anyone about it.” The other nine propositions are worth a look.

  10. Kathy DiCiurcio

    I don’t know that it’s actually pride, but when I do a good deed I do it because it’s the right thing to do. I am glad that I thought of someone else and not just myself. That God gave me the desire at that moment to do something good.

  11. Mary Duede

    I just finished Matthew Kelly’s Holy Moments. When you do those things to be noticed, try his suggestion of turning it into a Holy Moment by adding our Lord to the mix offering it up. That simple act of opening a door for someone becomes a prayer in itself. Sacramental really.

    • Nancy

      Rose, I misspelled my email address and saw my mistake after I clicked on submit. It’s been a long day! I’ll write it again below.

  12. Jayne Schmidt

    This has troubled my heart for so long. Am I defeating the purpose of the gesture by feeling good about it, or telling someone what I did? I don’t mean to boast. I just want to share the goodness the Lord gives to me. Your message comes at a perfect time for me! Thanks Rose; you’re the best.

  13. Sharon Gagnon Witzell

    Thanks again Rose. I do worry about this often. Trying to be humble is hard for an extrovert like me!

  14. Anne

    This is a refreshing take on a quirk of our human nature. It is rather freeing to simply enjoy the moment, acknowledge the pride that comes along in the wake of our altruistic action, and then let it go. Thanks

  15. Helen

    Beautifully explained. I agree to turn this into a Holy Moment. Thank you so much Rose

  16. Lucy Edwards

    Thank you Rose, such beautiful, uplifting, inspiring moments. Have a great wk-end.
    God Bless you.