Weekly Impact is written for leaders by our Executive Director, Garth Jestley, who has decades of experience in senior leadership roles in the financial services sector. Each week he will share insights on life, leadership and faith.

“All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the LORD.” (‭Proverbs‬ ‭16:2‬)

Do we know what motivates us? Do we know what motivates others? Can discerning someone’s motivation be useful in making decisions? How about investment decisions?

The CEO of one of my counterpart firms in the venture capital business shared the following apocryphal story with me some years ago. He had the opportunity to invest in what was, on the surface, a very successful technology company. The company had a strong historical track record and exciting growth prospects. The key success factor was some proprietary intellectual property. After deciding to make the investment, he flew to Vancouver for the closing.

At the very last moment, he discovered that the founder of the business had previously sold the company’s intellectual property to another party. In essence, the company in which he would have invested was worthless! When confronted, the business owner said something to the effect, “Oh, you caught me!”

Understanding a person’s motives is a necessary part to building trust.

I have no idea how this person rationalized his conduct but the opening quote from the Bible makes it clear that we usually give ourselves the benefit of the doubt! In any event, our willingness to trust another person is inevitably based upon our assumption that the other person’s motives are aligned with our own best interests. Having had my trust abused on occasion, I have experienced firsthand the consequences of failing to understand another’s motives.

There is one and only one I know who always has my best interests at heart. His name is Jesus, the Son of God. It is very clear that God’s motivation toward me is unchanging, unflinching love in spite of my bad behaviour from time to time.

Paul, the writer of much of the New Testament and a former persecutor of Jesus’ followers, states in his letter to the early church in Rome: “If, when we were at our worst, we were put on friendly terms with God by the sacrificial death of his Son, now that we’re at our best, just think of how our lives will expand and deepen by means of his resurrection life!” (Romans 5:10, The Message) The implication is that all God’s ways, including His motivation, are pure all the time.

We do not have to rely solely on the words of the New Testament authors. The historical record shows that Jesus did indeed die a humiliating death on the cross two thousand years ago. And we have much firsthand eyewitness testimony that, on the third day following His crucifixion, He rose from the dead thereby ratifying the truth of His message.

Have you trusted in the only one whose motives are transparent and 100% pure? If His claims are true, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Are you skeptical about the truth of Jesus’ claims? I encourage you to join one of our professional peer groups to explore them and come to your own conclusion.

Garth Jestley is a husband, father, grandfather, leader and business executive. Most importantly, he is a follower of Jesus Christ.