Mixed Motives

I’m re-posting this because, sadly but humanly, it’s still true.

Mitch Teemley


If it weren’t for mixed motives I’d have no motives at all.

I’m an idealist. I want (earnest cliche alert) to make the world a better place.

But I’m also a hopeless egoist, and no matter what I do I can never completely rid myself of the desire to impress. Argggh!  (Even now, as I write this, a part of me is hoping you’ll be impressed with my “humility”!)

What can be done? If I shift my focus to killing my self-absorption, the effort itself become an act of self-absorption! In C. S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters, a senior demon advises a junior tempter on how to keep humans stuck in this endless cycle:

Catch him at the moment when he is really poor in spirit and smuggle into his mind the gratifying reflection, “By jove! I’m being humble,” and almost immediately pride—pride at his own humility—will appear. If he awakes to the danger and tries to smother this new form of…

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About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in For Pastors and Teachers, Humor, Memoir, Quips and Quotes and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Mixed Motives

  1. It all seems to boil down to an inate desire for approval from others. Even if I’m not humble I want the approval that comes from being perceived as humble. On the good side, entertainers channel that inate desire into somehting generally useful for humanity. 😉 Keep on bein’ ” Mitch.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. BelleUnruh says:

    I guess pride is something we all struggle with. I’m always showing people my latest woodworking project. I want to hear how great it looks. Lol Yeah, it’s too bad we are all like that. But like the Bible says, “Don’t worry about anything…” and I take that to include my sins and mistakes. Admit them to God – yes. Ask for his help – yes. But don’t worry about them.

    Liked by 1 person

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