Are You Going Through the Motions?

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Going through the motions can be good or bad. It all depends on what the motions are and why. Let’s use marriage to illustrate:

If you go through the wrong motions for the wrong reasons, it’s a loss. A husband belittling and abusing his wife because he blames her for all of his unresolved issues is destroying the relationship.

If you go through the wrong motions for the right reasons, it’s a lesson. A husband lovingly selecting a power tool for his wife’s anniversary present hopefully learns how to select a better gift the next time (unless she’s into tools!).

If you go through the right motions for the wrong reasons, it’s a loss. A husband being kind and serving his wife just because he wants sex is deceiving and using her.

If you go through the right motions for the right reasons, it’s a win. A husband who buys his wife flowers because he knows they delight her is building the relationship.

The thing I love about that last one is that you don’t have to feel it to do it. Maybe Bob had a terrible day at the office and doesn’t feel like spending the time or money on getting Mary flowers. He just wants to go home, decompress, and watch TV. But he knows Mary’s had a rough week and it would mean so much to her if he got them, so he takes the time to pick them up on his way home. That’s love.

So often, we assume that if we don’t feel it, it somehow makes going through the motions less valid. But if we’re doing the right things for the right reasons, then just the opposite is true. Going through the motions when we DON’T feel like it is often a stronger expression of love than waiting around until we have the emotional “want to”.

Don’t buy the lie that you’ve gotta feel it for it be a win. Do the right things for the right reasons, whether you feel like it or not.

Look at your life for a moment. Are you going through the right motions for the right reasons? Is there anything you’re delaying because you’re waiting to “feel like it” first? Do it anyways and you may find that the emotions follow. Even if they don’t, it’s still a win.

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Author: Dave Mierau (Meer-oh)

Christ follower, family man, lifelong learner.

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