Piper: When You Don't Want to Do What You Ought To

17 Nov

As I have been wrestling with this issue myself recently (namely, What should the motivations be for a Christian striving for obedience and holiness?), this article by Pastor John Piper came as a great help.  In it, he lists several non-biblical ways that people (both non-Christians and Christians) use to motivate themselves to do what they know they “ought” to do.  He contrasts these with a biblical understanding of Christian obedience.  Here’s an excerpt from it where he lists the different strategies people use:

  1. You can avoid thinking about the “ought to.”
  2. You can reinterpret the “ought to” so that it sounds just like your “want to.”
  3. You can muster the willpower to do a form of the “ought to” even though you don’t have the heart of the “want to.”
  4. You can muster the willpower to do a form of the “ought to” and feel remorse for not having the heart of the “want to.”
  5. You can seek, by grace, to have God give the “want to” so that when the time comes to do the “ought to,” you will “want to.”

Read the entire article here for clarification on each point – especially #5.

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One Response to “Piper: When You Don't Want to Do What You Ought To”

  1. Sam November 17, 2009 at 4:05 PM #

    John, great link man. Definitely helped a ton.

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