Take, for example, my resolution to eat better and exercise more. I've grown tired of the flab and weary of my fatigue. In fact, this is an ongoing thing for me. I get frustrated with my health and take great efforts to change my way of eating and exercise patterns. But here's the catch, when I don't see the desired results, I go back to my old way of doing things. Why? In short, because my reason for my new healthy lifestyle was the wrong reason. I was doing it to see improvements in my health, which is a good reason, but not the right reason. The right reason to eat healthy and exercise regularly is because it's the right thing to do, and it will never cease being the right thing to do. Therefore, if I'm living a healthy lifestyle because it's the right thing to do then, no matter the results (or lack thereof), I'll keep doing it. My efforts to "fix myself" show me that I'm taking on a role that isn't mine to play.
The same can be said of saving money, working hard and even going to church. There are good reasons to do each of these things, but the right reason to do them is simply because they are the right things to do. For example, the Bible says in Luke 6:38, Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. Does that mean we should give in order to get? Is that the right reason for giving? No, God doesn't say give so that it will be given unto you, but rather if you give, you'll be given unto. It's a result of giving, not a reason to give. And frankly, if we're giving with the sole purpose of getting, we're not really giving, are we?
So who cares why we do something as long as we're doing the right things? Well, God does. He not only wants us to do the right things, but He also wants us to do them with the right motives, which is to glorify Him, not to gain something for ourselves, whether it be health, money or something else entirely. Our duty is to do the right things because they're the right things. No matter the results. No matter the costs. No matter the opposition.
I urge you today to take a look at every part of your life and ask yourself, "Why am I doing this? Is it to serve God or to gain something for myself?" I'm telling you, the answers may surprise you, but as the Bible says, the truth can set you free.
O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. - Jeremiah 10:23