I was wondering today why it is so hard to shower and shave.  I know, I know–it’s not hard for most people, but for the severely depressed, it is a classic symptom of the illness.  One writer attributes it to the fact that the sufferer doesn’t want to be around people, and so has no reason to get presentable.  But that doesn’t explain my own situation, for I know I am going to the bank and the library–so why is it so hard to shower and shave?

After I finished (because most days I do manage to accomplish the task), I was wondering why I had no motivation–no energy or impulse to get up and do something–and it came to me that the word motivation might have two distinct but related meanings:

  1. The energy to move; and
  2. The reason to move…

So I got out my dictionary.  It turns out that motivation always refers to that which initiates or causes motion–whether a logical argument, or a simple desire or emotion.  I decided that the emotion of depression was conflicting with the logic of cleanliness, and now I know why it is so hard to do.  But will my new understanding make a difference?  Only time will tell.

But while I was on the topic, I pondered the motivation that leads people to make decisions for Christ.  We all know from the Scriptures that we have sinfully offended the Holy God, and that we owe him a debt and should repent and allow Him to adopt us into His family in order to inherit the blessings of this life and all eternity.  But we also know that our estrangement from God causes the emotions of fear, regret, guilt, loneliness, desire for love, and gratitude for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ that allows us to establish a personal relationship with Him. 

So is the true motivation for salvation a logical conclusion reached in the brain, or an impulse having its root in the heart? 

Ask Paul on the Damascus Road.  Ask Thomas in the upper room.  Ask Moses at the burning bush.  Ask Peter at the lakeside.  And then maybe we will have a logical understanding of the emotions of spiritual conversion.