Altar Motives vs Ulterior Motives

I keep having the phrase Altar Motives vs. Ulterior Motives running through my head. I have begun to use that term when I am trying to gauge whether my own, or others’ motives are pure or not.

This blog has come about from a lot of half-written notes I have made myself, conversations I have had with many people realising many of us are grappling with similar things, my Bible readings and observations of social media and ministries in general.

The meaning could be obvious, but so I am not being ambiguous and for the sake of us being on the same page let me elaborate what I mean.

Altar motives are what I would call anything that we are doing that is sacrificial, Christ focused, doing for the sake of eternal purposes. Not seeking praise or approval from man, would do even when no-one is watching. It is humility and is laying our own agenda down to join in with what God is doing among us. It is being willing to play second fiddle (Romans 12:10 MSG).

 Ulterior Motives on the other hand are self-seeking and self-serving. They often come under the guise of doing good but are for one’s own gain. It is the use of flattery and exaggerations, of thinking of yourself more highly than you ought, and it is about the approval or likes of man. It is about seeking rewards and promotion. It is pride and selfishness. It is using people as a commodity, and not seeing them as made in the image of God.

We probably at times find ourselves in both camps. Honestly, this is the wrestle we all face. But it is not always called what it is and I have seen a dangerous tendency to applaud people and encourage them into continued self-promotion and it is leading people down the wrong path of disillusionment and distrust. This is the battle of our flesh vs our spirit. This is the battle of being in the world but not of it. This is the age-old battle and I want to address some things that I have seen that will give us a heart checklist that will hopefully change the way we interact on social media, in our everyday lives, how we minister and even how we view success.

My hope is to bring us to the same conclusion as John the Baptist when he said

He (Jesus) must increase, and I must decrease” (John 3:30)

More to be said.

Until next time.


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