Who needs a reason?

James Clear mentioned today the 1977 copy-machine study, where social scientists experimented with people cutting in line at the copy machine. When they explained their action with the word “because,” permission jumped from 60 to 94 and 93 percent. The actual reason why didn’t matter, since in the second case the statement made no sense. But both “because” statements worked, for people like to have reasons for what they do.

We all need reasons for what we do. The reasons motivate us. For spiritual action, those motivations take center stage and need to be kept continually before us.

For I am ever aware of your faithfulness, and your loyalty continually motivates me. Psa 26.3 NET

The Bible versions don’t use the word “motivation” much, but the word “because” is all over the place.

Mr. Clear notes also that sometimes, because of our need to have a reason for actions, we’ll come up with some off-the-wall or nonsensical explanations. Christians must make sure, however, that their reasons hold together. Spiritual motivations need true reasons.

O God, give me motivation to do all I need to do, and so much more, for the sake of Jesus Christ.

2 Replies to “Who needs a reason?”

    1. Wouldn’t it though! Of course, in some versions you’d have to figure in the use of “for” as a synonym, and that would complicate things a bit. 🙂

What do you think?