The word ‘motive’ means ‘reason for, or underlying cause of, doing something’. There are people that have the tendency to do what outwardly looks good, harmless or innocent but their reason behind such action is wrong or ungodly.
The Holy Scriptures are replete with characters that had such tendencies to do things with wrong or ungodly motives. They include Onan (Gen.38:7-10), Amnon (2Sam.13:1-15), Absalom (2Sam.13:19-29, 15:1-12) and Judas (Lk.22:45-48).
Culprits of this unfortunate inclination are reminded of the fact that the Lord that we are dealing with knows what is in the heart and rewards actions (cons. 1Sam.2:3, 16:7, Heb.4:13, 1Jn.3:20).
This wicked trait has done and is still doing great damage to the Church, business, home etc. In the Church, it sometimes manifests, when insecure people make reports to people in authority with ulterior motives in which case they flatter the person in authority to gain unmerited favour; or unfairly criticize a perceived ‘obstacle’ to a desired position; or damage the reputation of one that had hurt them without following the Scriptural stipulations on conflict management (cons. Matt.18:15-17, Prov.6:28, 20:19). Some may flagrantly give gifts or testimonies or engage in some commendable act with the intent of blinding the pastor or winning the favour of a person whose hand in marriage is desired (ct. Ruth 2). There may be those that show “great” concern to the needy or ignorant with the intent of ripping them off (cons. Matt.23:14).
Such people are often given to eye service and to hypocrisy (cons. Eph.6:5-8; Ezk.30:30-33). The major factors responsible for this unbecoming attitude are selfishness and lack of fear of God, which are indices of absence of divine love (cons. 1Cor.13:3,5).
Christians are expected to be contented, honest and plain in his dealings with people, and to abhor inordinate (excessive) ambition that leads to such Satanic manifestations as displayed by Absalom and Judas Iscariot. (2Sam.15:1-12; Lk.22:45-48; Heb.13:5, 1Tim.6:8, Phil.4:11, 2Cor.13:7, 8:21; Gal.3:5).
Always bear in mind that God will reward the wicked (inclusive of hypocrites) accordingly (cons. Gal.6:7, Gen.38:7,10, 2Sam.3:39b; Job.15:34, 20:5, Matt.24:51).