Motivation is not Pretty

When your 3AM call finally arrives (and one day it will), will you be prepared to handle it? We frequently discuss various bad ideas blowing through the church, but what if you’re suddenly all alone — will you be able to determine heresy from reality?

It comes down to one word: motivation.

Lou Holtz is one of my favorite commentators; his special segments on ESPN are priceless. If you’ve caught him on a political program discussing current events, you can only come to one conclusion: Lou Holtz for President.

Lou has a masterful way of getting the most out of his players. Let’s apply Lou’s method to Christianity.

  • Ability is what you’re capable of doing.
  • Motivation determines what you do.
  • Attitude determines how well you do it. (Lou Holtz)


In sports, some have more ability than others. In the church, everyone has the basic ability to perform their own studies. Can you read? Do you have common sense? Then you’re qualified.

Sure, learning Greek, logic, textual analysis, and critical thinking at times will help, but make no excuses — everyone in the church has the ability to do their own homework.

God didn’t lock His truths away so only a learned few could understand.

99.5% of people in church have the basic skills needed. No excuses. You’re capable of in-depth study, so Lou moves on to the next step: motivation.


Motivation determines what you do. You could have the ability to run a sub-10 second 100 meter dash, but if you don’t put down the bon-bons and get off the couch, you’ll never accomplish what your ability allows you to do.

That’s a big problem in the church: slothfulness.

It’s easy to say, hey, the pastor will be around to answer questions and figure out the tough stuff.

That’s not a sure thing. What will you do when nobody is around? It’s a sad commentary on our society watching everyone look for a bailout — as long as someone else pays, I want free stuff!

The same attitude infests the church. It’s time to get off the couch, and get in the game.


Attitude is tough. Ability and motivation only take you so far. What if a soldier has a bad attitude? Will their training be effective?

When the bad-attitude soldier enters combat, they’ll be easy prey for the enemy.

Of course, the same idea applies to you. Once motivated to get involved, it’s time to have the correct attitude — never quit, never give in, never surrender.

Dare to get in the game. If you need help, ask questions.

What’s holding you back … right now? More importantly, what can we do to help you through it? Email, comment, ask.

How you respond to the challenge in the second half will determine what you become after the game, whether you are a winner or a loser. (Lou Holtz)

… because it’s 2:59AM.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. (Theodore Roosevelt “The Man in The Arena”)

Filed Under: Christian Living

Recommended Citation:
Yeager, Darrin "Motivation is not Pretty" (2024-05-19 17:20),
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