Nobody’s motive is pure because nobody’s heart is pure.
“The Shepherd and Overseer of [our] souls” is always taking His sheep from here to there, there being a loftier place of wholesomeness and integrity. On our upward climb, motives improve. When there becomes the new here, our journey in Christ continues, and together we head for a new there. There is never perfection, only improvement.
Though some will reach higher heights than others, none will reach perfection, not this side of death, so we might as well accept our imperfection of every good thing, including motives.
It’s continuous improvement we seek.
Having said all that, our Lord fumes at hypocrisy – pretending to be what we are not, feigning a noble motive while impelled by a lesser.
Within evangelicalism is a religion that resembles a perverse business plan, a scheme assuring wealth for those of sufficient faith. This religion spills over and affects other corners of evangelicalism. This scheme of attaining wealth through giving requires hypocrisy – pretending generosity, but motivated by a promised handsome return. This crafty manipulating of God’s Bible appeals to lovers of things, and many of these lovers have been seriously self-inflicted, spiritually and financially.
The strategy doesn’t work because it is not endorsed or piloted by the Lord Jesus. (“Without Me you can do nothing.”) And yet many mischievous merchants of the give-to-get plan have gained impressive wealth, using their pulpits to pry money from their naïve audiences and into their ‘ministry’. These vendors, of the ilk of the temple moneychangers, defend their wealth by pointing to such OT wealthy characters as Abraham and Solomon, and incite their discouraged donators to tenaciously continue their faith-seeding.
It is good to give, and it is good to expect a return. Yet quality of motive determines quality of fruit. The best motive is simple obedience to the One we call Lord.
Giving money is spending the amount of life it has taken to earn that money. If Jesus is Lord of our lives in truth rather than symbolically we will consult Him, how much to give and where to direct our giving.